The stockings have been ripped from their hooks and ravaged for their goodies. The presents have been pillaged and the remains of wrappings are still being found. Cookie crumbs are all that’s left of what was an overflowing plate just yesterday.
And the burning question on our exhausted minds beg, “Is it over yet?!”
Yes. Christmas is over. But…
Our children are likely still reeling from the change in routine and the incredible excitement that the holidays brought. New toys might bring more frustration than joy. While the anxiety of the mysterious wrapped gifts beneath the tree has been relieved, anxiety continues… because anxiety lives with us every day.
Our non-verbal children probably did not burst into song like Zechariah, who was silenced for his disbelief that a Savior had come. They probably still used sign language or iPad or PECS to tell us their needs. Maybe your Christmas dinner more resembled this meme:
instead of this one:
Maybe gathering with family and friends for parties and gift exchanges and meals reminded you that disability still dictates every aspect of your life. Having to leave the party early. Stressing over the fragile decorations in perfect reach of a child who likes to clear every tabletop with one swipe of his arm. Worries about food allergies. Trying to keep it together as you field questions about your child’s disability yet again. Explaining to the crestfallen family member that your child doesn’t intend to be rude when they outright reject the gift they were just given.
And now, you can breathe. You can let out the breath you’ve been holding for the past month because Christmas is over. Relax! Take a nap! Let the kids play with their new toys so you can rest.
We all know that just because Christmas is over doesn’t mean all the stress and anxiety is now over too.
Maybe you didn’t have the “perfect” Christmas because your life isn’t perfect. No one’s life is perfect.
I wrote a blog post on my own blog, Hope in Autism, about the unfulfilled desire of the perfect Christmas. The following is an excerpt from that post:
This Christmas (now after-Christmas), when your child is stimming, remember the baby that was born in a stable. When your daughter has to use an ipad to communicate, remember the Savior that became like us so that He might be our perfect High Priest. When your son lines up his new toys, remember the Lord Jesus who entered into the world He made – a world lined with suffering – so that He could redeem our pain through His own suffering on our behalf. When the challenges of your child’s special-needs drowns the joy of Christmas morning, remember the Christ who is risen, and is making all things new and will one day erase every tear from your eyes. When you have to deal with the food issues, the head-banging, the meltdowns, the spinning, the flapping, the rocking, the isolation of autism and the questions from family or friends… remember – and see – the beauty of the child God created just the way they are. Remember that Christmas doesn’t have to be “perfect” to be beautiful. Christmas is still beautiful because Jesus has come! And Jesus is perfect.
Yes. Christmas is over. But its affects continue every day. Today, the day after Christmas, Jesus has come. Tomorrow, Jesus has come. When school starts again, Jesus has come. When the newness wears off, Jesus has come to make all things new. He fulfills our every desire. He is the joy of every longing heart.
Keep on, friends.
Hold onto the Hope that was born into a world of despair.
Bathe in the Light that shattered the darkness.
Relish in the love of God, who sacrificed His only son to save a hateful world that rejected Him.
So really, it’s not over yet. There is so much more to come. And when it does, remember Christmas. Remember…
JESUS HAS COME.
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