The Weightiness of Christmas

This might be the most conflicted Christmas post you'll see all season. Pretty pictures that look like I'm all decked out and ready for Christmas...mixed with words that aren't all merry and bright. For those who want to keep it light this Christmas, enjoy the pictures. But for those who are struggling to perk up this Christmas, these words are for you. You're not alone.

For a girl who loves to create beauty in her home, you'd think I'd be all kinds of excited about our first Tennessee Christmas. Simple elegance is just my style, so a farmhouse mixed with Christmas should be right up my alley. But truth be told? Decorating didn't do much for me this year.

A lone Santa added to the mix.

At first I thought it was because I didn't know where to put things in this house compared to my old one. Then I thought it was because I was missing all the beautiful, lighted garland. {It was custom made for the Houston house, so I left it there.} Maybe if I just bought new garland and draped it all around this house, all would be merry and bright?

But I knew it wasn't about the garland...or any other pretty, decorative thing. It never was. But that didn't keep sadness from sneaking in...followed by loneliness. In some ways, I feel like Mary...far from home and unsure of what's to come. {Only I'm not divinely pregnant with the King of Kings!} Did you know that more people feel the weight of their emotions during the month of December than any other month? You are not alone, my friends.

Why so lonely? So sad? So empty? Could it be that we've gotten so caught up in the pressure to be merry and bright, the striving and decorating, the shopping and gift wrapping...that we've lost sight of our hearts and our desperate need for a rescue?

It's scary to tune into our hearts...especially when we don't know what's inside or what will come out. I certainly didn't expect homesickness to creep in while decorating the Christmas tree! Or sadness and loneliness to surface during a season of joy.

Oh, friends, it would be much easier to tune into the December buzz than to tune into my heart. I'd much rather zone out on Pinterest over all the crafts I'm not going to make than wrestle with what my heart is really feeling. I'd much rather say "Shhh!" to my heart than "Shhh!" to the distractions this world has to offer.

Our one craft for the year. Sweet time with my girls.
{Thank you, Martha!} Truly easy...and even therapeutic.

Laura Finley's wreath: boxwood and berries from our yard.

I wasn't sure I wanted to say anything about my feelings of loneliness or sadness...at least not right now. It's CHRISTMAS, for heaven's sake! And then I remembered, yes...it is Christmas. And Christmas was never meant to be all merry and bright. {Remember why Jesus came in the first place? It wasn't because we were doing great on our own!}

When you look at what motivated the original Christmas, it's a pretty weighty thing. A holy and glorious thing. By the way, have you ever heard the Hebrew word for glory? Kavod. I wish I could speak it for you. It's one of the few Hebrew words I know. Unforgettable to me, because the first time I heard that word pronounced, I felt it's weight. God's GLORY. His KAVOD.

From Lindsay Letters last season.

I don't know how you're feeling this Christmas season, but if it's heavy, maybe there's something deeper and more glorious waiting for you beneath the surface...a treasure beneath the weightiness. Don't be afraid to go there. {Preaching to myself!}

When I don't want to deal with my own heart, I tend to snap back into my perfectionistic mode. Not fully, because God is lovingly, gently changing me over time, but my family can tell you that the messes in our house are driving me especially crazy lately. My hyper sensitivity to order and cleanliness are directly related to my heart. If there are things rising up inside that I don't want to deal with or feel, I focus on a problem I can fix. I sure know how to clean up a mess!

How soon I forget that the first Christmas was motivated by our mess. {I just re-read my own post from last year, The Imperfection of Christmas, and had to give myself an AMEN!} Without my imperfection, there would be no Christmas...no God with us. When will we really believe that God loves imperfect people?

Remember this from last year? A mistake I decided to keep.

I think if we remember what Christmas is really about and let that soak in throughout the month of December, our hearts would be lighter even amidst the weightiness. We'd be a lot less driven to be something we're not. While Pinterest and blogs are overflowing with ideas, sometimes it's just too much. Trust your heart this year.

If decking your halls brings you great joy this Christmas,
go for it! If it doesn't, let it go.

Embracing my lack of mantel decor...
and my stocking hangers without the stockings!

If crafting is your thing, have a ball! 
If not, just enjoy what others have made.

One simple craft is enough for me.

If sending beautiful cards feels sincere, enjoy the process!
But if you're not feeling it this year, feel free to skip.

If you know a gift will warm someone's heart, give it.
But if excessive shopping has lost its luster, give something away instead.

We've started giving more to those in need at Christmas...
and saving big gifts to each other for birthdays.

As we go through this weighty, glorious, beautiful, busy season, perhaps the best gift we can give ourselves is to tune into our hearts. Even if what we find deep down is heavy at times, we can TAKE HEART! Surely the One who has overcome the weight of the world {John 16:33} can handle the weight of our hearts!

How's your heart this Christmas?

P.S. Something I always love about the Christmas season: designing cards and stationery. I'm giving some away on Friday! Just leave your name and favorite design HERE.

To purchase, visit my website.


  1. beautiful heartfelt post my friend.
    my eyes welled with tears....
    love your heart!
    ( & by the way, i love your home...love it. i especially adore that view of your table!
    merry christmas

  2. Linsey...certainly understand what you are feeling. What I would suggest to you is not add "guilt" to list for feeling that way. Everybody goes through times like that. Just ride it out and hopefully you will feel better soon. Your house looks positively beautiful by the way. All the best...

  3. It is soo much easier to clean up a mess then empty your head and dig deep....I hear you! That heaviness likes to sneak up on me too...and no, decorations can't keep it out.
    I just now notice the C.S. Lewis quote...
    Not a typical 'merry' post maybe, but thanks for the insight.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  4. You have written what is on my heart. Thank you for a post that perfectly describes what and how I am feeling.

    Blessings to you...

  5. 18 more days and you'll be home. We'll do our best to put a smile on your face, but it won't be with Christmas decorations. Here they are minimal and I'm good with that.

  6. Linsey, so touched by your post & words from the heart. I wish I were in Franklin so I could sit with you in your beautiful home, offer a hug and share what's on our hearts. Your post brought out much needed tears on my part and time to reflect. God's blessings to you and your beautiful family! ~ Julie

  7. Dear friend, thank you for your heart, your love, your realness. Something about the longings, the loneliness reminds us our hearts we aren't home, we are made for more..more of Him that He gives so freely. Such a paradox...our hearts look heavenward and heaven stoops to earth. Saying a prayer for you, that the King of Kings meets you anew today! Love you!
    "It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!"... Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!" ~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

  8. Linsey - your words are so on point! what a great reminder for us all to feel the weight of the Christmas season and that it doesn't have to be 'merry & bright' at all times. - Rachel

  9. Certainly moving such a long distance away from your family, your friends, the place you have lived most of your life must weight heavy on your heart. Makes sense to me that you would be keen-fully aware of what you are missing this year. Thanks for giving us a peek into your new home. We are all anxious to see more, decorated or not. Hopefully you are going home for Christmas.

  10. Good morning friend. I love you. Thank you for speaking truth. Thank you for speaking reality. Our family had such a loss yesterday morning. My step father, after years and years of struggling with depression, chose to end his life.

    Our hearts our heavy....

    My love to you from Tullahoma.

  11. Yep, right there with you. I'm planning to beat my blues though. I'm made a goal of learning 3 new things in December. I'm taking my first Zumba class tonight. Two more to go!

  12. This piece you wrote is so eloquently expressed and so inspired from the One who does love you the most. You said that you haven't wanted to express these feelings, but you courageously did express them here in this place which in turn brings a blessing to all who come here and feel the same way that you do. I think thatat times that we feel especially like you do at the given momemt it is a precious gift whether we realize it at the moment or not. You have realized that this is a gift, these feelings, because you have turned your thoughts to the real reason for Christmas. You have thought back on Mary and the time that she gave birth to our Saviour. I can only imagine what Mary must have felt like being pregnant and about to give birth and not having anywhere to go. The loneliness and the dispair that could have set in except that she knew she was carrying God's Son. Your feelings connect you to her, to HIM on the night he was born. God is working through you in these feelings and although they are uncomfortable to feel (just as giving birth in a stable must have been) he chose you to express those feelings in order to be his light and draw others to Him in this very precious time of the year. Thank you for allowing God to shine through your words.

  13. I do feel for you, Linsey...and identify with you in a lot of ways. When I first moved away from my family to start my own, I was very depressed and far from joyful. It takes awhile but you are on the right track, looking deep into your heart. I think we have been fine tuned to believe this month is to be full of merry and joy! Ha! So few of us live such simple lives that we can just sit back and revel in the peace the holiday season is supposed to be about. We, ourselves, have turned it into chaos. On the good side, your home is decorated and it looks absolutely beautiful. You are blessed with a wonderful family and you are living your dream there on the farm. These unsettling feeling will pass and you will come away with something special. Believe!


  14. Love you Lins! You always inspire me. I miss you and your precious family. Wishing I could curl up with one of your giant mugs of tea & talk about life! Soon! Love, Gracie

  15. Thanks for the honesty. Not only is this Christmas 'heavy' for us also, this whole YEAR has been heavy. Which has us a bit weary. {understatement} ;) So thank you for the reminder that the reason for Christmas was a lot deeper than what we can buy and enjoy. And if God can give His son on Christmas, then I can keep doing the 'digging' required in my heart. We moved from MS to MD 2-1/2 years ago, and holidays can still get pretty lonely sometimes. I totally understand the double-sided emotions...love Christmas/miss family. Hang in there! At least your pictures made me smile. :)

  16. Thank you for this post. I am just not feeling it this year and that makes me feel even worse for some reason. I even told my husband the other day, I just don't like Christmas. It makes me feel so lonely and depressed. I hate even admitting that and I want to recapture that youthful feeling of magic I once had. I don't know if it's that I'm completely sleep deprived from a 7 month old who is still waking up at night, staying home with him all day and aching to have some adult interaction, children who have more energy than I can give, my back giving me trouble, an unfinished kitchen after 6 months of renovation, or just the desire to want more and more and not being happy and at peace with what the Lord has given me. I wish I could view life from the eyes of a child again. This is a great post. I didn't put all of my decorations up this year either. Just enough that my children are still happy. Hope you will be able to read this post next year and see how different and better things will be. I still need to have you over, if I could just get over my need for perfection too. :-)

  17. Amen sista!!! You bring such peace at a time of chaos. I am there with you also this year but it is a good heavy ( if there is such a thing). Baby Jesus is of utmost in my mind these days and I want it to stay with me throughout this season. Gift giving can be fun but it can also get out of hand. When I hear someone say they "hate" this time of year it makes me sad that they have allowed themselves to lose control of true meanings. I pray that we all will step back and remember the REAL reason this holiday is among us. And I, like you, give more weight to presents on someone's birthday...everyone should have one full day that is theirs...and Christmas time is the celebration of our Lord's birth

  18. So beautifully written - now, I'm feeling a little less guilty for not decorating yet. I decided that this year I would decorate my tree, hang my stockings and add a little to the mantle, but relieve myself of the need to "do it all". I love all of your touches and the chest with the nativity is gorgeous - the perfect holiday decor!

  19. Linsey, it is so sad not to see you to pick up our cards this year! But I trust in the power of the Lord (especially during this season!) that y'all are going to have the most amazing first Christmas in Franklin. It might not be perfect -- but I know that with you and your family, it will most definitely be filled with love! Your move has been an inspiration to so many -- what bravery! I know God will take care of you in every way! Peace to you this Christmas! All the way from Notre Dame! :)

    P.S. I hope you get to listen to this song a LOT this year! Xo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKwOByDgW3I

  20. You read my mind...I just told my hubby last night that I am officially stressed. I can't pinpoint it, but I feel overwhelmed at preparing for Christmas this year. Thanks for speaking truth and saying what we all need to hear. And I did so love the glimpse's into your new home...lovely.

  21. I know we have all had a Christmas like this. Not in the spirit. Wanting to fast forward thru it. I have. Children pick up on things so easily so we find ourselves putting on more than we feel like it. Blessings to you for turning to God for strength. I am sorry you are going through this difficult time. I truly am. I Peter 5:7 & 2 Cor 4:16-18 May these verses be helpful too. I have them highlighted in my bible.

  22. Without my imperfection, there would be no Christmas...no God with us. When will we really believe that God loves imperfect people?


  23. always value what your heart spills out
    this is always the battle isn't it?
    more so at this time of year..we have to be so intentional
    and i fail miserably
    and then i am thankful i we have an abba we can run to
    love ya friend:)

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  25. This is the sweetest post.

  26. Love your blog, great post! Where did you get your sunburst star on top of your tree? love it!

    1. Wisteria {one of my favorite resources}...several years ago.

  27. Hi Lins, I was going to email to say we received your gorgeous card today and it made me so happy to see all your beautiful happy faces!! Then I read your post and felt I could relate. It's not sadness or loneliness that I'm feeling though, it' something different. You did a much better job articulating what's on your heart. I'm not sure I've quite figured out what is on mine. I do know that I want to simplify. Less decorating and buying and more time for just loving each other, more time to reflect on the real magic of Christmas. Charlie is 4 and is now trying to put it all together. He was playing with our manger scene last week and asked why Santa wasn't there. I remember having difficulty explaining that to Andrew when he was about the same age too. Charlie seemed to understand. And he knows what we are celebrating. I do pray your first TN Christmas is extra special, even if your heart feels a bit weepy. xo


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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