Need a little Christmas?
Some think Labor Day was not that long ago. You know, summer, shorts and shades. And whoa, wow, here we are. Christmas. Already.
For some, it’s way too soon, even though we have noticed merchandizers starting the retail rush around Halloween.
Still, Christmas. Again.
A woman in our choir was speaking with me the other night and shared that a family member was having a tough time with his health. The details of his hospitalization took the spirit out of her and rightly she wondered with a far-away expression what Christmas would be like this year.
You may be like her, or her dad. A tough situation might be at hand as you move into the latter half of this first full week of December. The thought of doing anything for Christmas at this point is way too arduous. Or insincere. Or hollow.
Maybe world and national headlines have you down, ‘that family thing’ still hurts, or there’s someone you love who isn’t home. To deck the halls with boughs of holly is like, “Um, no…I’ll pass on that.”
If you’re not on Blue Christmas mode, someone you know may be.
So, what do you do, or what do you do for someone sad at this time of the year?
You start. That’s what you do. You start. Just something little. Maybe 45 million lights won’t make it on your house this year. Sure, neighbors in the past may have mistakenly assumed your place belongs on the Vegas strip, but this year a few soft lights around your picture window could speak of a quieter, gentler Christmas. Or maybe you’ll do the candle-in-each-window thing. Something, you know, minimal.
Christmas doesn’t have to begin with a big shindig. Red, silver, green and gold glitter doesn’t need to explode into your living room. Baking and other blessed traditions can wait.
Just start—even if you don’t want to.
That is what Advent is. It’s the start of the season to come, the precursor for Christmas. It’s the time we wait for the newborn King, Jesus Himself, to arrive. It’s not the time to break traffic laws by “gettin’ it all done” with record speed.
Maybe you’re not like anyone I’ve described here so far. Maybe you’re the Christmas cheerleader with ten exclamation points following your fa-la-la-la-la’s. Whether we are WAY over or well under the Christmas jive, I invite you into Advent where you are invited to chill and be still.
Don’t create newborn Jesus’ presence with your hype, or ignore His presence because you’re too hurt. Just wait for Jesus. Just wait. It’s fine if you baked and frosted 2,000 Christmas cookies or just had two slices of plain toast this morning like every morning on a plain plate that doesn’t depict a multitude of angels and well-tempered shepherds at watch by night. God through Jesus will do what he did 2,000 years ago. He came to them then; He will come to us—when it’s time. God in the flesh. Here. With us. Specifically, with you.
The star was the bright thing in Bethlehem, and God did that. You just be you, however you are. Jesus will find you, and that is going to make the difference.
The blog first appeared in The Susquehanna Independent on December 5, 2018.