Avoiding Disappointment at Christmas

Chris Hardy

Whether your Christmas tree went up on the first day of December (ours did!) or you hold off until Christmas Eve, Advent begins the season of preparing and expectantly waiting for the arrival of one big day, Christmas Day.

During this time, we tend to make ourselves very busy; we write cards, buy gifts, hang decorations and make plans. We do what we can to make sure that Christmas Day is everything that we want it to be. Some of us try to recapture the amazement we felt when we were children, just hoping to experience that feeling of excitement again this year; when the trees appeared bigger, the lights seemed brighter and excitement bubbled beneath the surface as the Advent candle burned closer and closer to the 25 December.

Then it arrives; the climax of three weeks of busy preparation. For some, the day is packed with carefully laidplans, starting with church in the morning, followed by gifts, food, family visits and laughter. For others, who are away from home, have lost loved ones or are going through difficult times, Christmas Day can be a sad and often lonely time. But every Christmas has one thing in common; it comes to an end. Boxing Day comes around and soon after we take down the decorations and box-up everything ready for next year. And after all the effort we can be left asking “was that it?”. There is a feeling that Christmas never lives up to the expectation. We don’t want to say it out loud, but Christmas can leave us feeling disappointed.


At Christmas we celebrate one of the most amazing moments in history. The great rescue mission that began all the way back in Genesis is brought to a head when God himself comes down into human history as a baby in preparation for the greatest act of love the world has ever seen. And the good news is, for everyone who has accepted Jesus, we are His, we belong to Him and we will spend eternity enjoying Him. But not yet…

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death” or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ (Revelation 21:4)

The word ‘Advent’ means ‘coming’ and, as we’ve spent December  reading the Christmas story, preparing our hearts and anticipating the coming of Jesus at Christmas, we are reminded that we are also waiting for a time when Jesus will come; when He will wipe every tear from every eye (Revelation 21:4). Every tinge of disappointment with Christmas reminds us that we are ultimately waiting and preparing for the day when disappointment will be utterly impossible, and we will never have to wait again.

Whatever Christmas looks like for you this year; whether it’s shaping up to be a memorable holiday or you are preparing for the worst, Church Army’s prayer is that you will know the love of Jesus in your heart and be excited for His ultimate promise.

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