I woke up feeling a little sorry for myself this morning, sorry for my family, too. It hasn’t been the Christmas season we expected or wanted, and I’m left wondering: how do you give your kids a good Christmas when nothing seems right in your world?
We’ve spent the entire month of December ill now. Influenza spread slowly from one family member to another. Several children ended up with infections. My asthmatic lungs were hit hard and our physician threatened me with hospital time.
Thankfully, it was just bronchitis and not pneumonia.
Just bronchitis, ha.
A pharmacy worth of medicines clutters our kitchen counters still – fever reducers, cough meds, antibiotics – you name it, we probably have it right now. Or at least that’s the way it feels.
Then, this weekend during our church Christmas program practice, our middle boy began complaining of stomach pain. By the time we had removed costumes and were ready to leave, he was on the floor curled up in a ball, crying. It frightened me because he is our tough cookie, the kid who rarely complains of pain.
So, when he started to scream that his stomach hurt, I left immediately for the closest ER!
We spent a day and a half at the hospital under observation, with many people praying – the world over. The surgeon mentioned appendicitis, but his symptoms didn’t fit exactly. Finally, his white blood cell count dropped, his pain subsided and we were able to go home.
We were overjoyed! He talked about playing with his little brother and sister and how happy he was to come home in time for Christmas. I grinned in the front seat, glad to have my funny, enthusiastic boy back. We were almost home.
All seemed right in the world again.
And then, suddenly it wasn’t.
Our oldest son woke in the middle of the night with an asthma attack. Then, I got sick and so did he. On top of that, the only little one who didn’t already have an ear infection complained that his ear hurt.
I’ll admit, friends, my heart travelled straight from rejoicing to complaining because it’s almost Christmas and it just doesn’t seem fair, really. Our children were only back at school for a week, and already ill again!
How can you give your kids a good Christmas when everything goes wrong?
I know I’m not the only one struggling for joy right now. In fact, I’m certain that many of you are experiencing trials much deeper and more painful than ours. If I really knew the depth of them, I’d probably be ashamed of my own complaining.
And maybe you’re a mom like me who doesn’t really mind so much for herself, but for the kids!
Maybe you lie awake at night worrying about life circumstances. Maybe you’re experiencing the pain of loss or separation from loved ones. Maybe your finances are in such a state that you don’t even know where your next meal is coming from.
Maybe you catch hold of joy for a few moments only to quickly lose it again.
Whatever your lot might be this Christmas, know this: you can still give your kids a good Christmas.