Dave Brisbin 12.01.19
Why is there so much depression and anxiety at Christmas? One psychologist writes that there are three reasons: the demands of time, preparation, activities, and finances; family dysfunctional issues that are highlighted during the season; and inability to meet expectations placed on us both physically and emotionally. When you think about it, we first experience Christmas as children—learn what our culture says it’s supposed to be through a child’s eyes. And it’s a perfect storm for children: from three feet off the ground, the lights, decorations, candy, treats, magical beliefs, gifts, suspense, and anticipation create a breathless wonder. How do we expect to recreate all that through our adult eyes, looking at a different world from six feet off the ground? To recreate Christmas as our hearts remember it, is to recreate the world in our hearts as the child sees it.

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This is Jesus’ message to us—that the Kingdom he’s leading us toward is only experienced from three feet off the ground, from the standing height of a child or the kneeling height of a servant. And the genius of the Magi is that for all their learning and power, they retained enough of the attitude of a child to recognize in a poverty stricken infant the king for whom they traveled so far. For us, as in the O. Henry story, The Gifts of the Magi, we see how our full presence to each other in love recreates the abandon of the child that recreates the Christmas our hearts remember.

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