I begrudgingly removed all of my fall decorations and packed them away last night. Always a sad time because Fall is my favorite time of year. Christmas is actually one of my least favorite holidays because of all the pressure and lack of focus on the actual miracle of Christmas in the first place. I am trying to get around all that this year and enjoy the quiet. I do not want to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle that makes me hate this time of year.
Here it is the day after the day after Thanksgiving.
The Christmas season has been in full swing since midnight Thursday, at least commercially. Sunday will start Advent for Christians. A time of quiet preparation. Seriously. I don't know that anyone can be quiet and focused in Holiday preparation. People forget about Jesus' birth all together. I am not judging because I have been there. There is something about Christmas but more so Advent, there is this kind of Joyous Hope that comes for me. When I listen to the "church" Christmas tunes this hope that comes washes over me. I am reminded that nothing is impossible with God. One of my favorite Christmas time scriptures. Maybe it is because I have seen a couple of Christmas miracles in my time.
Let me share some with you, first there was the year my dad came home from the hospital just in time for Christmas. He had been living in hospitals and rehabilitation centers for nearly a year after his illness first hit. It was a very joyous day when he came home just a few days before the big day. I venture to say better than Christmas itself. This was also the year my mother had gravely prepared us that there wasn't going to be much of a Christmas because we didn't have money for it. Christmas Eve as family was visiting, my dad's friends from the Turnpike (where he had worked pre-illness) dropped off two huge black garbage bags for me and two for my youngest brother. I remember so clearly my mother's tears of relief. I am sure there have been others. The last I will share though is just before Christmas 2 years ago when we found out we were expecting. It made Christmas simply amazing. I shared in Mary's wonder at being with child. Clearly I wasn't quite as amazed because well I was no virgin. Gasp shock I know! I had actually partaken in some loving. Anyway though I remember wishing I could scream with joy in church. Pregnant at Christmas really worked for me.
This year I am trying my hardest to capture the quiet and hopeful joy of Christmas. I am intentionally trying to make it a quiet time, so I don't get pushed in with the masses of over consumerized sheep rushing to buy the next great gift for my sister's cousin's bus driver. I am nearly done with the shopping. The decorations will go up later today. Then all that is left is cookie making later in December. In theory this means I can actually be quiet and enjoy the season and the hope that comes with it.
May you be blessed with this quiet hope-filled joy this Advent as you prepare for the birth of a little baby boy, who will change your heart and the world.