I’ll Be Home for Christmas starring Jonathon Taylor Thomas, is a
1998 movie that was a family classic growing up. As a kid, I always
thought that I would be home for Christmas, seeing as it was my
favourite holiday. Until two years ago, I had always been home for
Christmas, but in 2014 and 2015 I spent Christmas in Lebanon.
That first Christmas away from home was one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I was in a different country with an
entirely different culture, with different food and people, with no
members of my family with me. I remember Skyping my family on
Christmas trying my best to hold back my tears because I didn’t
want to be without them.
In that time of homesickness I learned a valuable lesson. I had to be
willing to sacrifice certain personal traditions, if I wanted to fully
enjoy the blessings laid before me. If I had been home that year,
I would not have met the amazing people I met during the trip. I
would not have rededicated my life to Christ, or been baptized in
the Mediterranean Sea. I wouldn’t have grown in Christ the way
I did that winter. I am sure all these things would have happened
eventually, but not at the time that they actually did.
When God called me to the same place in 2015 it was much easier
the second time around. I allowed myself to embrace the differences
in culture and customs I encountered.
Christmas has always been very important to me, but I have real-
ized that no matter where I spend it, the story behind it will it never
change. Recognizing that it’s not about who I spend Christmas
with or where, this year I want Christmas to be more than about
just presents, and trees, and decorations. I want it to be about the
greatest gift ever given, I want it to be about love- God’s love. Jesus
demonstrated that love by taking on human weakness and pain to
save us when we did not deserve it.
If you’re away from your family this Christmas, it may be difficult,
but remember it’s not about where, how or who you spend
Christmas with. It’s about celebrating the birth of our Lord and
Saviour, that He was sent for you to have freedom, everlasting life,
joy and peace.
Find a group of people in your community who share your beliefs
and have your own Christmas celebration. If your local church
doesn’t already have an event for young people , suggest having a
youth group or young adult celebration in the church. Christmas
away from home doesn’t have to be sad or lonely. We are all one
family in Christ.
Where and how will Brittany be celebrating Christmas?
At home with her family eating delicious food and exchanging gifts.
away from home