(Author’s note: I originally wrote this article for the blog “Raising Godly Children,” and it was published on December 28, 2015.  I am including the first few paragraphs here and then a link back to the original article.)

I hate Christmas. I know, I know, that’s a terribly Grinch-like thing to say, but let me explain. I hate the pressure of Christmas and the general entitlement attitude in society regarding the holiday. We’re expected to decorate our houses, buy presents, hang lights, buy presents, send Christmas cards, buy presents, bake Christmas cookies, buy presents, and generally spread holiday merriment and cheer everywhere we go. Oh, did I mention buy presents? It’s enough to make a person’s head spin.

The past two Christmases have been rough for me. Last year we made a 1300 mile move from Michigan to Texas at the beginning of December. We weren’t even unpacked when I had to start planning for Christmas. I was also seven months pregnant. Add to that the fact that I was now 1300 miles away from my family, and I was a mess. I thought this year would be better. I was wrong.

My oldest son broke his femur playing football in a backyard game the first weekend of December, as some of you may recall. So on top of everything else associated with Christmas, I also had to step up as a nurse to him as he learned to navigate daily tasks with a wheelchair and crutches. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Christmas wasn’t even on my radar until mid-December, and I got through the holiday by the skin of my teeth.

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Photo is grinch by Todd Austin