Celebrating a Cancelled Christmas
By Elaine James –
Have you ever come across three words that you thought were so simple, but ended up meaning so much?
Last year my husband announced to our family “I am cancelling Christmas.”A question came to mind: “Does that mean we are cancelling the true meaning of Christmas, too?”
The only words that my husband and I had on our minds as Christmas approached was “our family needs alone time and the only way we felt we could accomplish that would be to get away.”
As any baseball lover knows, at the end of the World Series, the MVP gets asked the question, “You have just won the World Series. What are you going to do next?” The MVP always answers “I’m going to Disney World!”
When we asked my baseball loving husband “Where are we going for Christmas?” he answered: “We’re going to Disney World!’
Twenty six years of family tradition were cancelled, replaced with airline tickets, a house rental and a rented van. With a sketchy itinerary, my husband, our four kids, daughter-in-law, girlfriend and I headed to Florida for a Christmas vacation. On the plane, I prayed “Lord, please don’t let us forget the true meaning of Christmas.”
We arrived in Orlando, got our rental car and proceeded to our rented house, but our GPS misguided us and we ended up lost in a town called Celebration, designed by Walt Disney.
We corrected our directions and navigated our way to the entrance of our rental home, in a neighborhood called Legacy Park. The directions instructed us to enter and find the subdivision called The Retreat.
Did you catch those three names of those places? I get the chills thinking that my husband just made random reservations, never realizing the name of the neighborhood or subdivision we would be staying in.
It was truly three divine words. A message from God! We were called to celebrate, have a retreat and leave a legacy.” We celebrated the birth of our Lord in a little town called Celebration, which just so happens to have adorned their town with several nativity scenes. We retreated from our busy lives, which gave us time as a family to reunite, cry from laughter and love one another. We left a legacy with our kids celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.
I have come to realize that sometimes 3 simple words may not be so simple, after all.
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for mercy. Help us to find more ways to celebrate, retreat and leave Your legacy.
BIBLE VERSE: “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV).