The Cost of Christmas

This Christmas for our family was…hmmm, well… not. that. great.

I don’t want to write like a whiny complainer, but it felt sorta lacking…
The past few weeks leading up to Christmas were cracked with stress fractures, parent failures and heavy hearts.
Running short on time and high on stress, the simple task of buying a few small gifts for our three children became daunting.
I got sick on Christmas Eve and spent most of Christmas day sleeping, trying to feel better.
The cost of Christmas weighed heavy…
Where was the JOY?

The stores pulled out all the stops and put their best gifts on display…
The Cost of Christmas rang high.
Some pinching every penny…
Some putting off the payment until the credit card bill comes due…
Some planning perfectly and spending just the right amount.
As I stood in the lines, my mind swirled with the ridiculousness of the material mayhem.
>>>And I was fully aware, that I was a fully involved, fully committed, participant in it.<<<
I returned home, frustrated.
Where was the JOY?

I had forgotten.
I know it so well, yet I had forgotten…
It slipped away… almost.
Moments reminded me ~ Our 9 year old more excited to give than to receive, all of our children asking for simple gifts, grateful for the gifts they received… our children wanting time with us ~ more than anything. Special family time, laughing, enjoying, sledding in the snow… JOY was there all along.
Remember. Those. Moments.

The Cost of Christmas IS this ~
“Unto us a Son is given…” {Isaiah 9} 
The cost for Christ was everything.
He was given as the greatest gift.
He gave up His Heavenly dwelling
To dwell with us.
He came to live.
He came to die.
He came to be {Emmanuel} God with us.
Christmas can be costly, but He already paid it for us.
We may have allowed stress to overwhelm us,
pressure points strain us,
material mayhem consume us,
and joy to be momentarily stolen from us…,

but we have Him. 
He paid the Cost. no other bills to pay off…
He is everything. no other gifts needed.
He is our JOY. nothing else can be.
The cost of Christmas is found~
JOY in Him…
dwelling beneath the frustration, failures, hurt and pain, JOY abounds. JOY returns. JOY remains.  

He is Emmanuel God with us. With. Us. Always. 

Have you felt the cost of Christmas?
Remember. Those. Moments. 
Remember ~ He is with us.

In Him, Leslie 

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