Shopping. Partying at school. Cooking. Wrapping. Baking. Decorating. Traveling. Getting together with friends. And that doesn’t even include the church activities, choir programs and special Christmas services.
It feels like time speeds up between Thanksgiving and Christmas and we move at a faster pace through the month of December, trying to do all we feel like we are “supposed to do” at this time of the year.
Added to our attempts to juggle all of the extra activities and events and responsibilities that Christmastime brings, we also must continue our regular tasks of going to work or school, buying groceries, doing laundry, and running the children from this lesson to that activity. No wonder it feels like everything is moving at warp speed to the point that when the New Year comes our December feels like a blur and we long for time to rest.
I have a friend who hasn’t decorated for Christmas in a few years. She has a variety of reasons for making this choice that have nothing to do with her faith. Now, I love Christmas, especially the lights and the trees and the music. When I talked with this friend recently, we discussed whether or not she would be decorating for Christmas this year. She basically rolled her eyes like “Are you kidding? No!” and sort of laughed. My immediate response was “You need to get a little Christmas in your life!” My silent thought was “Isn’t it sad at home without a tree and some lights twinkling in greeting on cold, dark, December nights?”
When I actually considered what I’d said, I realized the depth of my words. Maybe I’m the one who needs to be reminded to get a little Christmas in my life. As I write this, my calendar is full this week of one holiday experience after another. When am I pausing to take a deep breath? Spending some time in silence reflecting on the meaning of Christmas: how it impacts my life that Christ came into the world, and how I am preparing my heart for this precious gift this year?
Probably we all need a little Christmas in our lives. A reminder that we should actually experience this season with a sense of astonishment. Awe. Wonder. God did an unimaginable thing when He, the Creator of the universe came to earth as one of us. Human. With all the same qualities we each carry in our humanity—thoughts, emotions, dreams, wonderful relationships, difficult relationships, joyful days, and days of sorrow. As a baby. Born in a dirty, smelly shelter for the animals. Yet He, Jesus, was to be the Savior of the world. Sent to redeem us.
We know the story so well that if often doesn’t even strike us as awe-inspiring. We pass all that over because of our familiarity with the Scripture and Christmas carols. It all just melts into our busyness and responsibilities of the season.
We need to stop and add a little Christmas to our lives. Time to thank God for this wondrous gift that He sent us. “O, Come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”
Kym Mitchell is editor extraordinaire for the WMU Student Resource Team. (But didn't write this bio. )
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