Published on December 24th, 2016 | by Sara Barratt

Christmas Is Not About Perfection

Have you ever felt cheated out of Christmas?

Let me explain. We build this holiday up in our minds. Create an ideal—the way it’s “supposed to be.” There’s all the decorations, lights, cookies and carols, snow outside and steaming hot chocolate. The love, joy, peace and goodwill to all men. It’s so perfect and beautiful, and it’s what we all want.

But real life falls short.

Way, way short.

Oh sure, the stores promise you can have the perfect and ideal holiday if you just purchase this item, wear that outfit, or listen to this song. But it’s all a lie. We pin our hopes on their empty promises and catchy advertisements, daydream about them, and then we’re disappointed if it isn’t all they said it would be.

It never is.

Last Christmas our power went out. It wasn’t idyllic at all. On Christmas Eve, instead of watching a good Christmas movie while sipping hot chocolate, we were outside in the cold until midnight trying to hook up a borrowed generator we were only able to run about half the time. For Christmas dinner, we didn’t have the elaborate spread we had planned, just a few things we could heat up on our gas stove-top. Because of that experience, I learned that Christmas wasn’t about the ideal.

But oh, how quickly we forget the lessons we learn.

This year, I don’t know if we’ll have the perfect Christmas Day, but we’ve already not had the perfect Christmas season. So I’m learning that lesson all over again.

Call me cynical, or call me Scrooge, but I think our ideal is way off base. Don’t get me wrong; I love the traditions and enjoy the season as much as anyone. But that’s not what Christmas is about.

It’s about Jesus and the beginning of the redemption of our sins.

We’ve created a day to celebrate His imperfect, but oh-so-perfect birth. Think about it. The fact that He was born to a virgin—an unmarried teenage girl—was definitely not ideal, but absolutely what God had in mind. Then He was born in a stable—not even a house. It wasn’t perfect by any means, but definitely divinely planned.

How did we turn the breathtaking beauty of that event into a materialistic holiday where we get upset if it doesn’t go the way we planned?

Christmas is so much more than the day, or even the season. It’s more than the celebrations and gifts.

We have traded the greatest joy, for a lesser pleasure.

We should celebrate Christmas every day of the year. Without it, we wouldn’t have the amazing, humbling sacrifice of our Savior dying on the cross.

When I think of Christmas this way, I realize it’s okay if it doesn’t match up to what I think it should be. It’s all right if I spend Christmas Eve outside in the cold. Because the celebration of Christmas is age-long and worthy of so much more than just one day.

I want to rejoice in Christmas all 365 days of the year and share the light and hope of that baby boy who was born in a stable with the whole world.

And yes, I will enjoy Christmas Day, flawed though it will be. Because I’ll be choosing to remember the imperfect day when our most perfect Savior was born.

Will you join me?

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Photo courtesy of Matthew Paulson and Flickr Creative Commons.


About the Author

is a youth leader, writer, avid reader, chocolate lover, and “I Love Lucy” fan. A writer and editor for The Rebelution, Sara has been published on numerous other blogs including Lies Young Women Believe and Top Christian Books. But the most important thing? Jesus—let her tell you about Him sometime! Connect with her on Facebook and at her website

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