Christmas is nearly here and there are still so many things to do. Like getting a second job to pay for the extra electricity the holiday sparkle lights add to our monthly bill, or baking enough treats to feed the starving millennial neighbors who never learned how to turn on their oven. Granted, some of them probably figured out how to cook fruit cake in one of those handy dandy air fryers they got for Christmas a couple of years ago, but I’m guessing seven-layer bars might be a bit trickier.
This time of year, some people deal with huge, complicated decisions… like whether to purchase the proud little nutcracker or the crippled Santa ornament at Target. Whether to say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or bah humbug. Whether to enjoy a real evergreen tree that turns instantly brown and crumbly once secured in a water stand, or keep that nice, almost realistic one that never needs water but needs so much branch fluffing after being stuffed back in the narrow box at the end of each year that you feel like crippled Santa after setting it back up.
Of course, these aren’t really complicated decisions, but simple things that turn into big things. Like when someone you aren’t really friends with sends you a Christmas card in the mail, actually affixed with a stamp and everything, and you haven’t spoken with that person for at least ten years. The only reason you know their full name is because it’s on the card included with a 5X7 family photo. Are you obligated to reciprocate immediately, pretending that you had every intention of sending them a card as well but hadn’t yet slipped it into the mailbox? Or, do you wait and send them one next year, making them jump through hoops to find an extra copy of their newest family photo in order to get it in the mail before Christmas?
Introverts are not known for their hospitality. We would love to invite people over for holiday parties, or coffee and cake, or to play cards in the parlor (if we had a parlor) but if we do… we obsess and worry and fret, sleepless in Minnesota for the entire week beforehand, wondering… Will anyone notice if I don’t clean under my refrigerator? What will we talk about? How long will it last? Do I have enough dessert forks? Is fourteen different hors d’oeuvres enough or should I ask people to bring their own? What if I want to go to bed and people are still lingering in my kitchen? Do I shut off the lights and hope they get the hint? There are so many questions and very few solid answers.
Extroverts love parties and talking with people nose to nose. They don’t even require that extra space reserved for air and arm gestures. Personally, I like at least enough room to turn around and run.
I sometimes imagine what it would be like if I were one of those people who has never known a stranger and even chats with people in public restrooms or elevators. Not that I really want to try it. Oftentimes, I just imagine crazy things for my stories. Some of my characters are weirdly extroverted. I don’t know why.
Whether you enjoy your Christmas loud or quiet, filled with people and food or sitting in a comfy chair reading a good book and drinking a mug of steaming cocoa with a shot of Crème de Menthe, I wish you a joy-filled Christmas!
May Christ fill you with peace as you trust him with your hearts and lives.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son (Jesus), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.