According to Webster’s online dictionary “feel”means a lot of things, but here are just 2:
1. To perceive by a physical sensation coming from discrete end organs (as of the skin or muscles)
In the past: Christmas felt like cold air, smelling of cinnamon and pine trees, and eating Christmas cookies, and special drinks like eggnog and peppermint lattes. It’s the lights, the fun parties with friends, family, and coworkers, and the energy and excitement working up to the day. And for me, for the past 10 years it was always going to the Symphony Christmas show in whatever town I was in.
Being in Peru this holiday season has been very different. Like I mentioned above it is moving into summer here, so a lot of the things that I associate with Christmas are not here. To be honest, this has been really hard for me. But then I got to thinking about what Christmas REALLY is about and it helped me to change my way of thinking. Webster had a second definition for the word “feel”.
2. To be conscious of an inward impression, state of mind.
I want the feeling of Christmas to be this! I need to remember that while I can make Christmas be about a physical feeling that is tied to my location of where I am to help set up the stage, the truth is that the most important thing to have for it to feel like Christmas is to remember why we celebrate this day in the first place. The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The one who humbled himself to the lowest position and who ultimately came to sacrifice Himself for all humanity. When He came, there were no pretty lights to welcome Him into the world or even a warm cozy fire to sit beside. Instead He was born in a dirty dark barn. There were no special Christmas treats, or good smells to celebrate the day, because again, He entered this world in a dirty smelly barn. In John 8:12, Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”. So, after being reminded that Christmas should not just be a physical feeling that can change when your physical location changes, but it should be an inward impression, or state of mind that says, “I celebrate this day and season to rejoice in the ONE who came to bring light to the world. As we move into this Christmas week, I pray that you remember what Christmas is truly about as well. I pray that you have a happy and safe holiday season where ever you are.
Attached are a few pictures of ways that I have been able to celebrate Christmas here in Peru. I've been able to help go to different poor areas to give presents, panatone (fruitcake), and hot chocolate to kids. We even had a little dance routine that we had to do! I also got to have a holiday meal with the office I work in and was able to share a favorite Christmas cookie that I made with all of them.
Also, please remember if you are looking for a place to make year end gifts for tax deduction, my organization is a tax deductible organization and any money that you donate directly for me will be a tax deduction for you.
Blessings and Love to you all,