When You Don’t Feel Like Celebrating Lavishly

Alexandra Kuykendall self

It comes around once a year. This season of overscheduling, overspending, overwhelming expectations. It’s called Christmas. And oh my word have I had years when I haven’t wanted to push through. When I’ve braced myself to survive instead of relished in the lovely the season has to offer.

In fact, when we think about Celebrate Lavishly, we think of joyful, over-the-top parties and gifts. At least I do. I’ve thought things like, “How will we ever afford gifts?” or “I can’t pretend like everything’s okay, but I don’t want to be the holiday Debbie Downer” or simply, “I just can’t.” The reality is Christmas can be just plain hard. Because we feel alone, broke, depressed, angry. There are years when we don’t feel like celebrating.

Just as this holiday comes around once a year, so does my annual epiphany. It’s really a remembrance of why we mark this day, this baby being born. And it usually involves me listening to my favorite Christmas carol. Because right there tucked in the lyrics of O Holy Night, are these words:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appeared
And the soul felt its worth
The thrill of hope
The weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn”

The weary world rejoices. Yes, weary! I have been, I often am. Weary from lack of sleep, but also weary from the heartache all around me. I’m reminded that Christmas is actually for these dark years, an annual marker that there is hope. It comes around whether we’re feeling it or not. And in our weariness we rejoice. We celebrate.

And the soul felt its worth. Because this baby entering the story changes everything. We catch a glimmer every Christmas of God’s demonstration of love through a baby. Motherhood has shown me God’s love through my children, but this baby is different. He is for all of us. He is our thrill of hope. Our ambassador of love, meant for each of us. That is lavish. Over-the-top in all kinds of ways.

And this weary mom rejoices.


Alexandra Kuykendall
As a mom to four girls, ages 3 to 12, Alexandra Kuykendall’s days are spent washing dishes, driving to and from different schools and trying to find a better solution to the laundry dilemma. She writes to capture the places where motherhood meets everyday life to remember the small, yet significant moments in the midst of the blur. She is the author of The Artist’s Daughter, A Memoir , a contributor to this year’s Be you, Bravely, An Experiment in Courage and acts as the Specialty Content Editor for MOPS International. A city girl at heart, she makes her home in the shadow of downtown Denver. You can read more of Alex’s everyday thoughts and connect with her at AlexandraKuykendall.com.