Q: I’d never admit this to anyone, of course, but I hate Christmas. I come from a large family, and between having to buy gifts for everyone and visiting relatives and programs at church and everything, it’s just too much. I know I ought to try to get into the Christmas spirit, but I’m just too tired. — S.Y.
A: Yes, Christmas can be overwhelming, if we let it; I suspect many people have felt the way you do, at least occasionally.
But of course it shouldn’t be this way, because Christmas celebrates the greatest event in the history of the human race: the night God stooped down from heaven and became a human being — Jesus Christ. On that night, the Bible says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
I’ve sometimes wondered if Mary didn’t feel overwhelmed that first Christmas. Put yourself in her position: told by an angel she would bear God’s son, although she was a virgin … forced to journey to Bethlehem for a Roman census … giving birth in a stable … visited by shepherds when all she probably wanted to do was rest … yes, it must have been almost overwhelming. And yet through it all Mary knew she was in God’s will, and that was what really mattered. The Bible says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).
Ask God to help you be more organized this year, and to cut out the things you don’t really need to do. But also take time each day to be alone with God, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Let the wonder of what happened that first Christmas sink into your soul, and thank God for sending his son into the world for our salvation.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.