When Christmas Feels Anticlimactic

And just like that, it's over.

After months of anticipation, planning, deciding, and preparing, Christmas is all come and gone in a blink.

The many hours of Christmas Eve and Christmas celebration with our families, talking and laughing together, special meals, tables festive with tablecloths and candles and fancy glasses, playing games, sugar highs from candy and homemade treats, lights and ornaments on Christmas trees, decorations, traditions, waking up early to open presents in pajamas, reading Luke 2, wrapping paper, monkey bread, and Charlie Brown Christmas — it all seems like mere seconds.

I murmured it in the car as we headed home, how it felt so anticlimactic this year.

Not that we didn't have a wonderful Christmas season and a special two days with both our families all together, including my brothers home on leave, and love sharing all the fun, food, laughter, chaos, and memories. Not that the real meaning and significance wasn't central in the weeks prior and to our families' holidays as it always has been in various ways over the years.

But already it's over, come and gone, part of the past.

Maybe it was anticlimactic because we said goodbye and drove back to our quiet little house afterward, and didn't linger in the afterglow, the aromas and lights and candy and clutter and conversations and sprawling in the living room. Or because someone had to work the next day, two hours earlier than usual, and we didn't have a chance to linger, and pause, before we were right back in the daily grind.

Or maybe because after all the preparation and anticipation and hubbub and excitement and love of Christmas is all said and done, it's just a shadow.

Because there was nothing anticlimactic about the first Christmas.

That first Christmas, the greatest preparation and anticipation, and expectation, was met and exceeded with the greatest excitement, and joy, for the greatest Gift, for love.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."
      ~ Luke 2:10-11

Just like that, Christ came.

And that was and ever will be still exciting.

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