It really is kinda strange, trying to keep perspective on "the reason for the season" but at the same time there's the crazy "shopping, parties, concerts, school finals, etc" that happen and distract us.
For some people this is the worst time of the year. It's hard to "be happy" when you're facing "the happiest time of the year" without a loved one.
Today is 10 years since my mom passed away. That was a really tough Christmas. She died 2 weeks before Christmas, when everyone else is happy. The world just kept going on and we were stopped in grief and loss.
My dad has been gone 2 years. This year my nephew is not here. He's been gone 8 1/2 months. How do you face jolly times in the midst of grief except for the realization that Christmas is not all about "all that."
Jesus came as a baby, born in humble circumstances in order to live a perfect life and then die in our place... for our sins. He came because the world really is a messy place. He came because people sin, they lie and cheat and steal, they murder, they gossip, they betray. He came because people are depressed and lonely... because things are hard. People are homeless, jobless, helpless and hopeless. He came to give hope, life, purpose. He came to save and redeem us. He came to live and die so that we can have a home with Him someday.
At the right time Christ came. At just the right time! He will come again, at just the right time. In that day, those He has redeemed will be finally home. There will be no more sin, no more pain, no more death.