By Tori Vissat | Guest Blogger
It’s in commercials, in festive dinner conversations, in the gifts we buy, on social media, on TV and on drives with friends. I swear it is in the air. Moving at lighting speed through our bones, our subconscious, making a straightaway for the coveted chamber of our hearts. Never achieved yet always alluring. What is the name for this infamous holiday joy zapper? It’s what I like to call: ‘Christmas Perfection.’
And by ‘Christmas Perfection’ I mean the whole, “I need to have my crap 100% together and know the answers to all 43 of Aunt Judy’s intense questions pertaining to the next 31 years of my life right this second!” or the, “I need to give amazing gifts and post a cool picture on Instagram so everyone knows I’m really happy & having an awesome break.” Ya know these thoughts? So many expectations. So many pressures to be as shiny and glittery as the wrapping paper we use for our gifts! I say it, because I’ve fallen prey to this…virus if you will.
The expectations…they used to choke the living daylights out of me. I used to think, “How can I get through this Christmas season all cheery and singing “Jingle Bells” when there are days I feel straight up like the Grinch on stilts. Days where sadness & hurt gripped my heart so tightly and I wondered why my life hadn’t turned out as ‘perfect’ as I had planned. I thought to myself, “Pretty sure Aunt Judy isn’t going to like my answers this year…”
Where does this pressure even come from? Well, the world for one. The world that is really good at trying to tell us who we are and what defines us; our careers, relationship status, the amount of money in our piggy banks. Yet ultimately I’ve learned that the pressure is exhausting and that none of it is what Christmas is even about.
At Christmas, we celebrate God’s becoming Man for us. It’s the birthday of Jesus! Jesus who is called, “Emmanuel, or God with us.” Jesus who came in a manger, a small, messy and probably smelly manger. By the worlds standards, this was by no means ‘Christmas Perfection.’ He was born into humble and poor conditions with a donkey by his side; no glitz, no bells, no Facebook pictures. Just human, just like us. He came this way so we would know. We would know how He desires us to come to Him. Not with lives that are perfect but with our masks off, vulnerable, in our poverty and our neediness.
P.S. You are enough.