Home Alone is one of my favorite Christmas movies. Always has been.
When I was younger, one of my favorite parts was the complete chaos when everyone is staying in the same house, driving each other crazy, with the house seeming to burst with action. I grew up as an only child, with a mom who was an only and a dad whose family was so big (and not particularly close) that we rarely got together. All I wanted was a big family like that. Knowing each other so well, they can drive each other absolutely insane – yet gathering in the same house like a gigantic sleepover.
As an adult, I started noticing that – not only in Home Alone – but in every Christmas movie, ad, TV episode – Christmas almost always came with plenty of snow and some big community event on Christmas Eve. Snow dusts the evergreen branches, making them look like a holiday card while everyone makes their way to the town square or community center or huge neighborhood gathering (of course bearing food, singing carols or other Christmas-y things). Cars are driving past perfect views of white hillsides and powdered roads.
None. Of. That. Is. Reality.
I know, it creates an image or it sets the scene. I get it. Really, I do.
But can I say that I actually spent way too much time being disappointed in reality? Completely let down when the snow didn’t come. Depressed that I don’t live on a street where there’s a fantastic holiday gathering for all of the neighbors. Downcast when rain sprinkled the holiday lights. Wistful that family get togethers are great – yet don’t last all night and into the next day.
Is that actually what I would want?
Once I got past what I wanted Christmas to look like, things got so much better and brighter. Of course, I’d still rather have snow than rain. I still love family dinners and parties – the more the merrier. But, I also love things I’ve always loved about Christmas…
The feeling I get when I imagine the manger scene so many years ago,
The joy of finding a gift that is perfect,
The songs that fill the season,
The children’s Christmas program at church,
The decorations everywhere.
I’ve always loved those things. But when I push the curtain of “supposed to be” to the side, I find that I love them more. ❤️
(But I’m still wishing for a snowy Christmas!)