Why I Don’t Hate Christmas Anymore

Let’s clear the air on one thing: I never hated Christmas. It’s just that, in comparison with certain other people who are so full of holiday cheer this time of year (ahem, Pastor Charlie), my level of Christmas excitement was admittedly low. Rest assured, as I write this it’s mid-December and I’m sitting by my Christmas tree sipping hot cocoa and listening to Michael Bublé.

Let’s rewind a few years. I’ve always loved new things. New challenges, new changes, new experiences, new projects, new travel destinations, new coffee shops, new people. This stuff energizes me! Christmas? Well, I guess it was so filled with traditions, it felt tired and slow.

Every year it’s the same Christmas story, the same meal on Christmas morning, the same roulette of gift-giving and receiving (and the same accompanying anxiety over whether you gave the right thing or reacted the right way), the same string of parties that leave you happily exhausted and in the same sugar coma vowing to clean up your health in the new year, and, my favorite, the very same music and movies year after year after year. Seriously, can we vote to retire Santa Baby and Christmas Shoes permanently?!

I write this and I’m aware these are the traditions that make many people love Christmas – it’s familiar, inviting, steady. I think I’m slowly becoming one of those people, too.

The answer to why I don’t “hate” Christmas anymore is two-fold:

The Christmas people got to me! Seriously, they did – and it was so subtle I didn’t even notice the shift. It was my roommate who loves Christmas decking out our house, and me actually enjoying the coziness. It was Charlie giving away Christmas hats at church. It was my friends developing our own tradition of “Roommate Christmas.” It was being part of our annual Christmas Concert with 100 amazing people to bless our community. I realized that repeated things could be enjoyed year after year – I actually liked them.

I love Jesus. A few years back, God planted a seed of wonder in me about Christmas specifically. I began wondering about why Jesus came as a baby and not a full-grown adult. Why are there so many ordinary characters throughout the Christmas story? Why does most of the world stop to celebrate, even if they are not Christians? And in wondering, I worshiped — Christmas itself is a miracle; God coming to the world as a baby is a gift. I embraced these things instead of skipping over them for the next new thing, as my personality commonly wants to do.

So perhaps this is my official admission: the Christmas people were right all along and it’s totally a season worth embracing. Yes, Christmas might be full of slow traditions, but the slowness is also beautiful. As one of my favorite (new, of course) Christmas songs says,

For all I know of seasons 
Is that you take your time
You could have saved us in a second
Instead you sent a child

Here’s to wondering and worshiping about the miracle of Jesus’ birth. I pray you have a Merry Christmas!

Valerie Bouchard has been attending Faith since 2010 and came on staff in 2015 as the Communication and Connection Director. She is passionate about helping people love Jesus more in their everyday lives and especially loves serving alongside gifted leaders and creatives at Faith.

Outside of Faith, you’ll find her hiking with her golden retriever, Kai, coaching CrossFit classes or planning her next travel adventure.