Why the Scrooge in Me is Leaving

If you know me very well, you know Christmas music is not my thing. Certainly not before Thanksgiving. Most definitely not after Christmas.

Same with Christmas decorations. Except that it’s such a pain to put up a Christmas tree, artificial or not, the sneeze-inducing thing must be on display for at least a full month to get your hassle’s worth.

And personally, the gift-giving tradition is a little much. If you really think about it, we’d save everyone the trouble by simply getting ourselves what we need and want throughout the year. Instead, we shop by obligation, fail to guess the preferences of the people we supposedly know best, then spend a few more hours of our lives in the returns/exchanges line so we can straighten things out.

If we’re smart, we join the gift-card crowd. Because money you can use at only one business is so creative and personal. {Don’t even get me started.}

I get that it’s all about Jesus coming to earth to save us. Trust me, I’ve heard the story a million times. Every Christmas.

I took part in all the plays and musicals, and even portrayed the obviously-non-fictional “wise man’s assistant” in my church’s living nativity pageant {because apparently the wise men can’t possibly carry their own gold, frankincense, and myrrh}. I can quote Luke 2 and sing almost every stanza of every traditional Christmas carol by heart.

And honestly, it’s about to make me gag. The commercialization. The department-store jingles. The tacky Christmas lights. The ugly sweaters and white elephants. The sugar overload and the mantle-perching, all-knowing elf creepiness.

Can we just stop? I am done with Christmas.


At least, that’s what I would have said two or three years ago.

But one Advent Sunday, I was moved to tears.

You know . . . Advent? That mystical, light-one-candle-each-Sunday routine that’s enough to make me wonder if my church has officially gone off the liturgical deep end {oh, the horror}.

Yes, believe it or not, my usually-non-emotional self was weeping in the middle of an Advent service.

As much as I hated to admit it, Scrooge was leaving.

. . . and complete and utterly ridiculous joy was filling its place. How? Why?

Well, for several months, I had been poring over sections of the book of Mark. And before that, Malachi. And before that, Hebrews. And lots of Isaiah.

These writings were filled with a kind of holy, perpetual restlessness. The Savior of the world was coming.

Such a gripping reality wasn’t some annoying, overdone, every-December celebration to these people. They so knew the King’s arrival was near, they practically sat on the edge of their seats every day waiting. Longing. Hoping. Looking. Trusting.

I must have finally caught on to the excitement, because here I was, listening to an Advent sermon of all things, completely overwhelmed with anticipation.

The last Christmas or two have been strangely wonderful – filled with a preoccupation that doesn’t make sense to this former grouch’s soul.

The day after Thanksgiving {because that’s still a rule}, I’m voluntarily listening to Christmas music, fighting with tangled, half-blown strands of Christmas lights, and willingly putting up our sneeze-inducing “Charlie Brown tree” {so named by my short sister who can see over its tin-foil-starred top}.

And gift-giving is thrilling. And carol-singing is joyous. And I listen to the Sunday-morning Advent devotionals, scarcely able to believe the glorious truth – Jesus is coming.

When that’s where your heart is, “bah humbug” doesn’t often come to mind.

So I’ve invited the Scrooge in me to go sit in a dark room and complain about happiness if he so chooses.

As for me, I’ll spend the Christmas season rejoicing with great joy because Jesus came. And I’ll sit on the edge of my seat the rest of my life waiting with great anticipation – because he is coming again.

 [image credit: unsplash.com]

13 thoughts on “Why the Scrooge in Me is Leaving

  1. Even though we don’t give Christmas presents except for the little ones (we give to charities instead) I understand the Scrooge leaving. I love Christmas. The services. The plays. The kids. The joy. The family. The season. It’s the one time in the year that you can smile at everyone and say Merry Christmas. Thanks for joining Word of God Speak.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post is great all around. It stirred up so much in me, and hit home!

    I felt like you before, even worse when the gifts come with long lines, money that needs to go elsewhere and requires more hours of reading reviews, price comparison, store hoping or endless hold times to figure out why its tracking info is leading you to believe it got lost.. oh and wrapping…oh the wrapping don’t get me started!!

    But none of that’s what it’s about and if God knows our hearts, as He does, then we aren’t fooling Him and He’s the reason for Christmas! If I’m going to do this begrudgingly I might as well not participate, but to catch the right motives and transform my heart is a much better approach.

    How beautiful the gift of Jesus is to this world, how loving and sacrificial our Holy God is to give out of pure undying, agape love to the world His son, Jesus! Christians and many non Christians alike recognise and celebrate Christmas, but those of us who celebrate who are believers ought to be the happiest, merriest, most thankful and cheerful who stand out to shine the light of our Savior as we hold the task of giving to others, Christmas especially but all the time in reality!

    Fantastic post, appreciate the wisdom and transparency!


  3. This is marvelous and exactly how I felt in past years until I evicted my own Scrooge as well!! I read Ann Voskamp’s, The Greatest Gift devotional starting on the first Sunday of advent this year and it rocked my formerly grinch-y world. Hallelujah the king has come and is coming again! Thanks for sharing your story Lydia! Blessed to be your neighbor at #teachingwhatisgood Happy Christmas and Merry New Year to you dear!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, we can get a wrong mind set at times, but when we really STOP to consider all that Christmas really is, then we can celebrate with the best of them. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh I am still stuck in the “why do we exchange gifts only to return them?” side of this. I’d truly love Christmas if the focus was not on gifts– pretty much why I LOVE Thanksgiving so much. I feel like the shift of society and even our family turns to what we’ll get and not what we have the minute Thanksgiving ends and Christmas officially begins. I keep trying each and every year to embrace the joy, wonder, and miracle of the season and hope that one year it finally clicks…

    Liked by 1 person

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