It’s true, I’ll admit it: I’m not ready for Christmas.
Oh, I’ve done all the baking, the caroling and shopping, the tree trimming and wrapping, the reading and snuggling and even the waiting and watching.
I’ve sat here through dark mornings and read Scripture by the lights of the tree (all 2,000 of them!) for all of Advent (and then some!). I’ve “prepared Him room.” But I’m still finding myself digging heels in, willing the season to slow, to give me a little more time in the anticipation. And then it hits me …
It’s not the coming of Christmas I’m not ready for … it’s the going of it.
These weeks since Thanksgiving, they’ve been full of so much light. I spend most of the year feeling out of step with the rest of the world, rowing desperately against a current of immorality and the heedless clemency that attaches tolerance to everything and true value to nothing, which glorifies darkness and mocks any attempt to resist its all-encompassing whirl.
Ah, but Christmastime!
It’s as if everyone else suddenly wakes up and remembers what’s important. Children. Music. Charity. Light. Beautiful things. Gifts. Wonderful food. It’s all everywhere, inescapable, from store aisles to commercials to our kitchens.
Comfort and joy.
At Christmas, somehow, it feels like the current of culture is diverted from its hell-bent path, if only for a moment–as if aftershocks from some long-ago earthquake rumble just below the surface, redirecting the flow just a bit, and people everywhere turn their faces toward beauty and light.
For a season. A season of light, Christmas is, and they’re singing about Jesus over the cheesy airwaves at WalMart and ringing Him on the corners and nearly every bar in town boasts a Christmas tree in the front window. And that tree is trying to tell us a story, to remind us of the important things, boughs ever-green, laden with light, covered in red and pointing heavenward, like arms reaching to draw everyone right in, calling you close.
Come here, come near! Come, look and see. See the lights! See the gifts! See the star!
For just a little while, it’s like everyone can hear it; heaven and nature singing.
So I’m not in a hurry for Christmas to come as I’m not in a hurry for it to go. I’ll enjoy every moment and refuse to let it slip through my fingers. I’ll smile big driving past the blues and reds and purples and yellows blinking under snow, smile at the mamas and daddys with carts piled high with toys, smile at the bell-ringer and the butcher and the baker and the one selling trees on the corner, smile at everyone from the Rockettes to Linus telling the Greatest Story Ever Told.
And I’ll smile at my own sweet ones and pull them close and point it out–
How in this season, everything joins the chorus of heaven and earth, and maybe, just maybe, we’re not so alone, after all.