Can you celebrate an unfair Christmas? We think so. Here is why…
Our Unfair Christmas Story
On Christmas morning, Jenny and I try to keep things fair. We are a blended family, so Jenny and I are hyper-vigilant about keeping things even among all of the children. Jenny meticulously counts the number of presents, each child will receive, before setting them under the tree. She has a common step-mommy concern. Jenny doesn’t want her stepdaughters to find things unfair and think she loves her biological children more. So our family takes every precaution to keep things equal.
Although keeping things fair is great for the children, “fair” isn’t a reality for most adults. Life doesn’t play nice, and it usually isn’t fair. This year, things are not equal in our blended family homes. Less than two weeks before Christmas, I returned from family court with sobering news. Despite our 50/50 parenting schedule, our family will now be paying the other family’s rent in its entirety.
It’s Not Fair…
As you can imagine, Jenny and I’s first reaction was, “It’s not fair!”
- It’s not fair that our girl’s mom chooses not to work, and our family has to pick up the slack.
- It’s not fair that my ex-wife’s husband is living rent-free in an apartment we pay for.
- It’s not fair that, as a result of a court decision that took a minute to make, our family will struggling to buy food, diapers and to keep the lights on.
Our list of frustrations could easily go on. While it’s obvious that our family is hurting, I’m not sharing this with you to vent. Instead, I want to show you how our family uses the unfairness of life to celebrate the season.
The good news is that there is also a second set of ways that life is unfair for Jenny and me… and this other side of “unfair,” makes all of the difference.
Flipping Unfair Upside-Down
We rarely think about the fact that life is unfair in good ways too. For example:
- It’s not fair that I’m married to a smart, gorgeous, fun, mommy, step-mommy, and best friend, while so many other couples are hurting.
- It’s not fair that I’ve been blessed with four happy, healthy daughters while others struggle to have children.
- Our family lies in a fantastic home, while so many people around the world struggle to survive. This, too, is not fair.
- Our Christmas day, spent celebrating with family, food, and presents, is unfair–many don’t have this incredible opportunity.
- It’s not fair that nearly two-thousand years ago, God became a baby so that we could have a resorted relationship with Him.
- Jesus, dying on the cross, for my sins, is not fair.
- Heaven–an eternity spent with our Creator and Savior–is most certainly unfair.
Yes, life is unfair. In my mind, I keep two lists, and I bet that you do too. The first list contains all of the negative ways that life is unfair. It’s a compilation of everything that is wrong with the world. While this list isn’t all bad–there is certainly a time and a place for mourning our losses–if we choose to hone in on the ways that life is against us, we will feel miserable.
When Live is Unfair in Our Favor
The second list contains all of the ways that “unfair” works in our favor. Today, our family is setting the disappointments aside. We are choosing to celebrate with family, and rejoicing that life is unfair in good ways too. We have an abundance of blessings that we did not earn and do not deserve, and I bet you do too.
James 1:17 says that every good and perfect gift is from above. Today, I thank God that life is unfair!” In fact, “unfair” is what Christmas is about. God, becoming a baby, living a perfect life, and dying to pay the penalty for you and I, is perhaps the most wonderful, unfair, event of all.
Continue the Conversation
Today, instead of bemoaning the negative side of unfair, our family is choosing to celebrate the multitude of unfair blessings that have come our way. Use the questions below for additional reflection and discussion.
- What are some ways life is unfair to your disadvantage right now?
- How is life unfair in your favor?
- Do your feelings change when you focus on ways life is unfair to your advantage?
- How will you celebrate an unfair Christmas this year?
- What thoughts would you add to this post?
- What other questions about celebrating an unfair Christmas do you have?