I feel like I write this every year.
Thanksgiving wraps, I emerge from the Turkey-induced coma, do a strict, clean-eating, cleanse (for like a week), then I begin to prepare for Christmas.
I get out the plastic garland, change out the pumpkin candle for a pine scented one, and slowly let Christmas tunes permeate the space in my life (well, a few songs, here and there, in moderation).
I do all this because it’s what I’ve been taught, I suppose by society, that this is how you prepare for the coming King. ‘Cause, you know, Jesus would be disappointed if my house didn’t look “Christmasy” by the time His birthday rolled around.
So I do all these things and find myself in search of “the wonder.” I drive home from a Christmas concert, have “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year[i],” stuck in my head and I think to myself, “Is it? It doesn’t feel like it…”
And I find myself in want.
You see, the truth is, I honestly don’t know what my problem is. Like…why am I not in the Christmas spirit? Is this an issue for anyone else? What about those neighbors with Christmas lights covering every inch of their yard? Are they feeling the magic more? Maybe I should actually put up a tree…
Then it hit me as I crawled into bed and opened up to the book of Luke.
I only got a few lines in before it dawned on me that the magic I was looking for was right next to me, on my nightstand.
You see, we do this every year. We get so wrapped up with all the impossible tasks we are “supposed” to accomplish during a mere 28-day period that we don’t make time for God. It’s like throwing a birthday party for someone and never even saying hi to them or acknowledging their existence at their own party. But that’s what we do. We’re like, “Okay everyone, Jesus’ birthday is only 28 days away, so we have to buy all the presents, bake all the cookies, hang up all the decorations, send out the cards, get the proper “mood-lighting,” and throw all the pre-party parties before the 25th”. Then when Jesus arrives we’re like, “Oh, hi Jesus. Oh, I think I just heard my oven timer, hang on a sec. Hey, can someone get the door? Jesus, can you run to the store? I forgot to get eggnog.” And it’s as if Jesus is standing there like, “Is this party for me or for you?”
So, all of this has got me thinking…
Maybe we should change up our traditions. Instead of waiting to read the account of Jesus’ birth until Christmas Eve, instead of running a million errands, decorating the house from top to bottom, and getting all caught up planning a party for, well…GOD, we should ask Him how He’d like us to celebrate His birthday instead.
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,…for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His Name.”
Luke 1:46-47 & 49
[i] Williams, Andy. “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.” By Edward Pola and George Wyle. The Andy Williams Christmas Album. 1963. LP.