Christmas Confessions Of A Ragamuffin

I haven't been blogging much lately. The words just seem so elusive, so unavailable. Sometimes I don't even like what I write. And if I'm being really honest; I don't even like my blog all that much right now.

Sometimes I write too safe. Safe like I better be a good girl safe. Safe like really nice safe. Like I need to write in way to keep things moderate and balanced. Know what I mean? And while there's nothing necessarily wrong with safe it doesn't get my writing capacity to that place where people are stirred and challenged in a good way; even if they disagree with me. And it doesn't allow me to be fully authentic, which is something I desire to be in my blogging.

And while I'm on a confession roll, I'll also tell you I sometimes write things no one ever sees. Ever. I know all writers and bloggers do that. And maybe I shouldn't say that no one ever sees it. Sometimes its merely a matter of waiting for the right time to tweak it and then post it. But other times, it is because I'm unsure. There's good thought in it and perhaps even great content but it's raw; really raw. And its personal. So it sits there and occupies space in my draft list. Sometimes it gets deleted.

Furthermore, would it surprise you to know that I'm struggling during this time of year? Many of us do but rarely acknowledge that to anyone. I mean after all IT'S CHRISTMAS - the blessed time we celebrate the birth of our Savior. So I suppose it's a little taboo to confess such a thing as a Christian. But I just did.

I love Christmas; it's my favorite holiday. I love spending time with my family. I love decorating. I love Christmas shopping and buying gifts for people I love. I love baking. I love caroling. I love going to Christmas plays. I love candlelit church services. However, chronic illness can make the holidays really tough. It changes things. It's the most wonderful time of the year but there's never enough energy; there's never enough stamina; there's never enough feel good. After seventeen Christmases interlaced with the affects of Lyme Disease, it's still difficult. I'm still limited. I even hate to say that. And truthfully I feel as if I'm fighting to get the joy of Christmas. Yet I know that joy is present everyday; not only in December. Still it's how I feel.

I feel like I'm really reaching this year; reaching to take in and grasp this beautiful, holy season. And it pains me that's its a struggle. It pains me that Jesus, the first Noel, is not getting my all in this celebration of His birth. But He knows the truth of my heart.

Maybe it's that "feeling" I'm missing; that wonderful, cozy, special, excited feeling that comes with Christmas. That feeling of childhood that seems to elude us later in adulthood; that feeling which can actually be a poor substitute for Him on some level. Please don't misunderstand. I'm not saying that feeling is wrong; I'm saying allowing it to take His place is. And perhaps that's what I've done. Perhaps we all have to a degree.

Do you know what it feels like to me?

It feels like we're all waiting for this big crescendo that starts the day after Thanksgiving and peaks on Christmas Day. That we're just waiting for it to invade our daily lives and fill some unspeakable void; that we're waiting for it to spark our hearts ablaze with something grandly supernatural and otherworldly. And in essence, that is what Christmas can do. However, once the crescendo crescendos; that's it. It starts to decline. It isn't lasting.

I side with Charlie Brown on this in many ways; if you will. I see that even we, as followers of Jesus, tend to get caught in the wild rush and demand of this whole thing. That we often end up grasping for the temporary fillers instead of the eternal ones.

If I had to sum up the truth of Christmas it would be this: Emmanuel, God with us.

And perhaps that's it. Perhaps, as Stuart Briscoe alluded to, it is not the spirit of Christmas we need or long for; but the Spirit of Christ.
"The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world." - Stuart Briscoe

I find this resonates with me very much. I want the Spirit of Christ to supersede the spirit of Christmas. I want the Spirit of Christ to supersede everything in my life that needs overhauling. Seriously. I do. And I want the Spirit of Christ to be evident in me.

But as much as I want Jesus to pervade every part of my life; I know I need Him even more.



Copyright © 2011 Michelle Holderman


  1. Michelle
    It is so good to hear from you. I certainly understand what you are saying about writing and keeping some in drafts, deleting some and the raw truth of living with Lyme or other disabling diseases....and this year I too have struggled with finding the joy in Christmas. I am not sure why but I am struggling with some sadness which is unusual for me. This year I am stronger than last, but I still fele the losses. So, what you are writing is resonating with me. It is hard, isn't it. What you wrote about the Spirit of Christmas vs the Spirit of Christ is very interesting and helpful. I, for one, appreciate your openess, an honesty here. Sending gentle hugs your way and prayers for a special Christmas in the small moments.

  2. Michelle,

    Your writing is always beautiful and touching. I know what you mean about your blog not always reflecting what you want it to or writing and then deleting, and I most definitely understand not being in the Christmas spirt this year. But you nailed it, it's not the spirit of Christmas, but the Spirit of Christ. Thank you for your post; it was a blessing to me. Best wishes to you.


  3. Love you, friend. As always, I can relate. Thanks for sharing your heart. XOXOO