Christmas looks different this year. My focus has been on finishing up shopping, creating intentional moments, but in the middle of all the busy parts, I still find myself stopping. When I stop, I am confronted with the fact that Christmas looks different this year. With changes within our extended family, it pours out into the holidays. A mixture of emotions are sprinkled in with the normal Christmas excitement.

Reflecting on this fact, I have a feeling I am not the only one who is preparing for a different Christmas. While we all have different stories and struggles, there is that common thread. Our expectations are held in limbo for the season.

Processing through the changes as Christmas looks different this year, I realize I have a choice and so do you.

We can fight change or embrace our new normal. While it may seem easier to fight the change, the result is greater struggles and laying the foundation for bitterness which will take root.

I know that I do not know what your Christmas looks like this year. Perhaps everything is running as usual, however I know there are others who are facing a different Christmas.

Maybe it is your first Christmas after a loved one passed away, or the first Christmas after divorce. Perhaps there is tension within the family or health problems.

Whatever it is, you know Christmas is going to look different. Friend, can I urge you to embrace it?

Christmas is not meant to meant to be a perfect day. It is meant to be a day where we celebrate a perfect Savior who came for our brokenness.

Truth for when Christmas looks different, Christmas Encouragement, How to handle Christmas stress

So as we enter into Christmas day, may our focus be on embracing the imperfect. I am challenging you and myself to do the following three things.

Three truths for when Christmas looks different. #christmasencouragementClick To Tweet

Focus on the reason for the holiday.

When we take our eyes off of all of the stress, we are able to truly savor the reason for the season- Jesus. He came for our messes and He came to embrace us in the midst of the mess. Whenever you feel yourself starting to feel overwhelmed with all the stress, take a deep breath and focus back on Him.

Allow yourself to grieve the loss.

Stuffing emotions away or pretending like everything is perfect is not going to solve anything. It is like putting a bandaid on a gushing wound that needs surgery. Eventually, things will be worse, not better. You can grieve the loss without being consumed. When you feel the down or sad, let yourself feel these feelings.

Look for the beauty.

There is so much beauty in this season, yes even in the mess. Sometimes, the most beautiful moments spring out of the darkest of places. Keep your eyes open to the beauty. Look for it every single day. Write it down if you have to. Count the good and claim it, and when it seems hard, remember the One who is always good and reflect on Him.

These three things are not going to take away the different feeling of this Christmas, but I know that they will center us on what is true and good. As I anticipate the next week, I know that Christmas looks different, but I am starting to see the beauty in it. Different does not have to be bad, in fact it can be rather lovely.


26 comments on “When Christmas Looks Different”

  1. You give a good advice to fight or embrace the change, I choose to embrace chance because I find that change is part of every aspect of our life. happy holidays.

  2. I love this so much, Keri! The events around Christmas so often magnify those differences and it can be easy to let it consume us. I love your reminder that Jesus came for our messes! So many Christmas carols speak peace to my heart when I’m overwhelmed, reminding me that Jesus came to bring life, hope and peace. Praying for you as you walk through a different Christmas this year! <3

  3. Love your post. I write about embracing the unexpected and this fits right in. I will be sharing on social media. Thank you! You are right the three things you mentioned won’t take away the different but they sure will help find Jesus.

  4. I appreciate the advice you give about grieving our loss. The holidays are definitely a great time to spend with family and friends, losing one of those can be rough.

  5. Thanks for this. Every single year Christmas looks different for us and embracing it has made all the difference .We are enjoying making new traditions and enjoying all the moments we have.

  6. Thank you so much for the encouragement. This is my 9th Christmas being married and I still have a hard time accepting that Christmas is different in how my husband and I celebrate vs how I used to celebrate with my family growing up ( would think in nine years that I would learn to except the change …) I think one of the main reasons why I’ve never let go of it is because I’ve never grieved it – so thank you so much for the encouragement to grieve, focus on the reason for the season and to find joy in it!

  7. “He came for our messes and He came to embrace us in the midst of the mess.” Yes! Beautiful and so true. May we let Jesus reach into our hurting places with His healing touch.

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