Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Nostalgic Christmas

Definition of Nostalgia
1 : the state of being homesick
2 : a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition; also: something that evokes nostalgia

Every year, around this time, I become nostalgic. It has something to do with the fact that I live away from my childhood home as well as far from all my family. One of the ways I turn my homesickness into a holiday celebration is to enjoy fond memories.

This year I have a bonus. My high school class held its 25th class reunion. I was unable to attend, but I still feel connected because my classmates have enjoyed group e-mail since then. Exchanging photos makes me almost feel like I am there with them. I impressed myself by being able to identify each person in a group picture from a class gathering. Yes, faces and figures have changed, but their essences are still the same.

Many women who have experienced weight gain like me are hesitant to attend their class reunions. They assume everyone else has stayed the same and they are the only ones who have changed. But guess what? Life happens to all of us, as worries and concerns mature our once-taunt skin and gravity changes our waistline into a wasteland. Some of the late bloomers look more gorgeous today than ever before, but the rest of us just look...well...older.

What I notice happening with our class now that we are all 40-something is that we have let go of our cliques and we are really bonded in what unites us, our childhood memories. Those things that make us different don't divide us, but make us unique and interesting. No longer do we look for cookie-cutter friends. It's great having a blast from the past, like reuniting with school acquaintances, and finding some that become even closer friends now that our walls of division have come down.

As Christians, we can learn from this example. Rather than only fellowshipping with people we deem acceptable, we should let down our guard and find a common bond. If we are all following Jesus, won't we find ourselves on the same path? Let's all fellowship on that journey. What better Christmas present to give our Lord, for Him to see His children enjoying each other's company.

Allow yourself to become homesick this holiday. If you follow the star of Bethlehem, you will find your way Home again.

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