Dare I say it out loud? I’m not sure it can be said in polite Western society. I am not a Christmas fan. There I did it, admitted my secret thoughts.

Christmas growing up wasn’t filled with memories that I treasure. Perhaps I knew that Santa, presents, chocolate and television weren’t the essence of Christmas? Perhaps I just missed eating meals at conventional times or maybe I felt overstimulated by the music and the excess of everything? Deep down I know it’s more than that.

Christmas as a smaller child was all about the big man in the clouds, the one who’d watched me all year and had my name written in his big book. Once I came of age and the reality faced me, what was left of Christmas? No Santa, no Christmas?

I remember the first Christmas without mum, I was still a child but not yet a Christian and the pointlessness of the day rattled through my bones. We opened presents after Midnight Mass, why wait for the morning, why keep tradition? Money was tight and every gift felt an unnecessary expense, wasted on a day we could just pass by. Passing it by seemed easier, the pain less noticeable if we could just pretend. That’s my coping skill, just smile and keep saying you’re fine. Fake it ‘til you make it.

But God reached into that brokenness and showed me a real man who would return on the clouds of glory, who has written my name in His book and who doesn’t just watch me but he lives in me, loving me back to wholeness. Jesus is the only one who can give us each the Christmas present we really need. He offers us the gift of himself, we just need to accept that gift.

Why then is it that Christmas is still so uncomfortable for me? Surely with Jesus at the centre everything is wonderful? The reality is that healing is a process and none of us will be completely whole this side of Heaven, but each day God continues to work on our hearts, continues to draw us to himself.

Each year I stuff down those old painful memories and put on top the Jesus filled, family focused Christmas we desire for our family. The problem is, the memories keep rising back up and fill my stomach with butterflies. I think perhaps saying it out loud to you all is the first step in letting go of the past. I guess I have to admit the hurt exists in order to ask Jesus to heal it.

In an effort to break generational patterns Phil and I are writing a new story onto the hearts of our children, a true story, one which they won’t grow out of but they’ll grow deeper into. The truth of Jesus Christ is so much more beautiful than the childhood tale of the man with the stuff-filled sack.

Christmas is hard for so many people and although I don’t want to dampen anyone’s joy, I want to be real. It’s easy to see the images of saccharine-sweet families, seemingly perfect and joy-filled and yet the reality is so often different. My prayer this year is that God uses my brokenness to reach into the lives of those who know pain, who carry emotional scars and for whom Christmas is filled with darkness.

It was into the darkness that Jesus was born, to bring light, hope, joy and salvation. His love is what carries me and it can carry you too, you just need to receive it, and that would be the only present you would ever need.

Sending you all love and blessings this Christmas time.

If you want to receive regular updates please subscribe to the blog or follow us on Instagram at goldbyfamilybusydays.

15 thoughts on “My Christmas Secret

  1. I agree with a lot of what you say, Vicki. The sparkling and expensive celebrations cause so many millions of people to acknowledge they are frequently ignored and desperate; hungry and homeless; sick and suffering, for an endless number of reasons. It’s not difficult to recognise the brokenness within our nation and our world.

    The question for each of us, is how can we touch hurting people this Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of the One who came to show us how to make a difference? I guess, if we ask Jesus that question, he might give each of one of us a different answer, depending upon our circumstances and our area of influence. “Every little helps,” as a well known supermarket would say.

    God bless all you lovely Goldbys xx

    • I know that I would like Christmas far more if it was about serving others. My instinct would be to wash up at a big free church meal for the lonely, but that’s not the season God has me in. Instead I joyfully wash up for the 21 of us who will be here. As for how to help the hurting, I will continue to pray for at least one conversation with someone who needs the support, as you say, ‘every little helps’. Merry Christmas lovely friend. Xxx

  2. Very well said Vicky (& Laurie)

    If we can just remember & pray for those who are suffering this Christmas & throughout the year, painful memories, pain through being overwhelmed & struggling on, physical pain, mental pain. Lending a helpful hand, doing something practical for others, a genuine listening ear.

    Thank you God for bringing the Messiah into the world our Lord Jesus Christ, & for hearing our prayers. Amen

    • Thank you for all your comments this year. Praying you feel the Lord Jesus close to you this Christmas. Blessings, The Goldby family.

      • Yes, the truth shall set you free!
        I don’t see anything to be ashamed of in what you wrote. I’m just sorry for what you went through and still do each year. But surely Satan wants us to be ashamed of ourselves and hide what we feel we can’t share so we’ll be alone in our pain.
        I pray that writing about it publicly will be a step on your healing journey.
        God deals with each of us differently, but I was reminded of a friend who got set free from porn addiction by telling his whole congratulation about it.
        Satan just can’t stand truth and light.
        About Christmas, I think because there are no commands about it in the Bible we are very free if and how to celebrate it.
        Surely we want it to be Christ centered and meaningful, but I hesitate a bit to put pressure on oneself to especially reach out to the lost and share Christ during Christmas time. There’s already a lot of expectations on people this time of the year. Hospitality , sharing the gospel and serving others are good to remember all year round, and I personally don’t think that Advent especially matters to Jesus.
        Obviously there’s quite a range of viewpoints about Christmas amongst christians. I wish we could all respect each other’s conviction, trusting that everyone really tries to please Jesus and listen to what he tells each of us.
        To faithfully serve your big family all year round amidst all challenges is without a doubt something that Jesus delights in.
        I wish you freedom and peace and grace for each new day, no matter the season.
        I believe very few people are truly happy at Christmas. We so much long for this deep happiness, but often look for it in the wrong places, when only Jesus can still this longing in us.
        (Reminder to myself)
        Stay blessed!

  3. Hi Vicki that was so well written and so true… Christmas is a hard time as for so many it causes old memories to surface that we prefer forgotten. A very Happy and Holy Christmas to you and your family and a blessed and healthy new year !!

    • Thank you for posting those kind words, it’s always encouraging to know your deepest thoughts are not mocked but appreciated as truth. Sending Christmas blessings to you and your family.

  4. Dearest Vicki. Your openness and honesty and gift for writing are such a treasure and blessing. Wishing you peace and happiness this Christmas time. With love from us all. Anna xxx

      • It is incumbent upon us as Christians (Messianic Jews) during advent to gently try and tell at least one person that is a non-believer (or those solely wrapped up in the materialism of Christmas) the true meaning of Christmas, i.e.

        John 3:16 KJV
        16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

        Go, tell it on the mountain
        Over the hills and everywhere
        Go, tell it on the mountain
        That Jesus Christ is born

        If we celebrate Christmas without doing this it is a mere indulgence

        May God bless you all as we celebrate advent, & may he remain close to you all in 2024 as you call upon his holy name in good times & in hard times, for life is not easy. Amen

  5. Beautifully written meaningful reflections. Thank you Vicki. How privileged we are to know the living Saviour and Redeemer

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment; it is indeed a huge privilege to serve our amazing Saviour. May God bless you richly this Christmas time.

  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us all this Christmas. I do feel the same way and I think Christmas brings back some sad memories of loved ones lost and moments best forgotten for many. Wishing you and your lovely family every blessing this Christmas and in 2024. Lesley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>