The Green Dress

(pretend its green)

Christmas 1999. Actually, it was before Christmas. My mom went and I were shopping at some pre-Christmas sales and mom found a dress for me. A green one. That was "just a little big." The perfect dress for next year! I was not too thrilled with it, and it was by far the most Christmas-y dress I had ever seen. Green plaid, velvet, lace, buttons and a vest - this sale item was intense and my mom loved it so much, I didn't have the heart to not let her buy it for me. For next year. I figured I could hide it away and she would forget all about it. Besides, with all the Y2K drama, the world might not see the next Christmas haha :)
Christmas 2000. Mom did not forget about the dress. This year I was in 6th grade and all the girls were talking about their Christmas dresses. They all had these Mary-Kate-and-Ashley-esque dresses. I am sure they had butterflies or dragonflies on them and sequins and little matching jackets. I shuddered thinking about having to wear my tablecloth slash doily dress. My mom had it all planned out for me, but happily, choir saved the day! I was in the Christmas Eve Choir and we had to wear a solid color. No patterns, designs or jewels. And certainly not plaid. I was so excited! I remember mom telling me that the plaid was so small that it would look like a solid color from the stage. "Mom! Mrs. Cook said!" I was all of a sudden very, very attentive and obedient to Mrs. Cook's orders. I wore a green turtle-neck and green skirt and green leggings. It was sooo much better than the dress. Phew. I had made it through - the dress could be forgotten about.
Christmas 2001. This year I was even cooler. I was in 7th grade and was playing on a clu
b-soccer team. I didn't even think about the dress until a few days before Christmas when I was out with my mom. I saw a skirt I really liked and she said "Oh, you don't need that - you have that plaid dress you didn't get to wear last year." My heart sank. My stomach dropped. What?!?! How does she still remember the dress?!?!? She is arguably one of the busiest humans alive, and forgets things often. How does she remember that ugly, ugly dress?!? The next few days I tried to figure out my plan. How could I avoid it this year? Well, I had an indoor soccer game right before the Christmas Eve service, and I figured I could just claim "forgetfulness" and sit in the back with my soccer stuff. At least I would look cool and unfestive. My dad was going to pick me up, so I figured my plan had worked. When *dun-dun-dun-duuuun* mom comes instead and guess what! She had the dress! Because I had forgotten it! She's a lifesaver, I tell ya :) I was beside myself and I was still adamantly opposed to that dress. I was running out of ideas. My little brother was in the backseat crying and I had an idea. I could go to Children's Ministry with him! So that mom could listen to the whole service! Yes! Brilliant! And I could wear my sweats and it would be perfect! Mom let me, and for the second year, the dress was avoided.
Christmas 2002. Now, it was just getting bad. Around August I hid the dress, in a box, waaaaay in the back of the storage room. Surely this would do it. Of course it didn't. Of course mom found it. And, of course, a few days before Christmas I was mastering up a plan to not wear the dress. This years idea was to borrow one from a friend. This frien
d had quite a few lovely and not-plaid dresses and I borrowed one. I came home smiling the biggest smile I could, trying to make my eyes sparkle - if I could have had snowflakes dancing around me I would have - hoping that mom would see just how happy this borrowed dress made me. She didn't seem to care too much and let me wear the borrowed dress. 
Christmas 2003. I was in highschool now and our family had just found out that my mom had breast cancer. I honestly had no idea where the dress was, and it did not even cross my mind. Surgeries, doctors, tests, schedules, medicines. Thats what crossed my mind. I didn't care what I wore to the Christmas Eve service. And I went, honestly, for the first time in 4 years not caring about what I looked like. I was melted. I was broken-down and ren
ewed with hope. I sang, and watched and listened to all these things about what Christmas was about. It was so miraculous! Why had it never felt this way before? This is unbelievable! God. God. God. GOD became a real human. Such humility! Such love! He did it because He loved me. He was willing to become lowly and hated, and eventually be crucified, in order that I can have hope in Him. I can sit next to my sick mom in whatever outfit I wor
e, knowing that there is hope. It's not about me. It's not about what I look like. Or how I feel. Its about Him.
It's funny how your perspective can change so much in an instant. Usually the distractions aren't green dresses. Usually its relationships, jobs, money, popularity, success, whatever! - but let's never forget THE most important thing. We have a King and a Savior who has provided hope for us all!
I would like to wish everyone a very, very Merry Christmas :)

With love, 
Kristen Leigh
(who never wore the green dress)