And just like that, it’s over.
Maybe I’m just getting older, but it seems like my perspective on time and how long it takes has changed.
Over the last number of years, since I was a kid really, the waiting for Christmas (and my birthday) was nearly unbearable. There were certain milestones along the way that made it seem not so far away. The first snowfall, stores advertising for Christmas as soon as Halloween was over, carols started playing everywhere, school was let out, unbelievable displays of lights started showing up and shopping commenced in crazy form.
This is the first year that I haven’t been involved in some sort of Christmas project for the community or church in about…5 or 6 years. It’s been all right; in fact, I appreciate the break, but I’ve noticed that it’s made some difference. See, those projects always started by late summer/early fall and by the time Christmas actually rolled around, I thought I would scream if I had to sing the Hallelujah chorus one more time.
This year, there were maybe 2 services I attended that had a Christmas flavor. Working in the mall was a pretty obvious reminder that it was coming, but when you’re trying not to pour hot gravy on your hand, everything else tends to fade into the background.
I don’t know. I guess I’m just saying that this year Christmas snuck up on me and now it’s already over. I almost feel like I missed it. Not the day itself, but the preparation. The milestones, the little signs along the way that said, “It’s that time of year again.”
When it comes down to it (and this is a rather rebellious thought), it’s not the day itself that I think is important. Yes, Jesus was born and it’s nice to acknowledge that, but I’m not entirely sure that December 25th is the $64 million dollar day.
Whatever. I’m not here to get into a theological/historical debate about the origins of Christmas. (And I probably will tell my children that St. Nicholas was a real person who did good things in history, just like St. Patrick, and leave it at that.)
I think I have a point. And I think it is, to borrow the lyric, “Don’t save it all for Christmas Day, find a way to give a little love every day.” I don’t think Christmas should be used as a reason to get together with family and exchange gifts of love and words…and let that be it because we paid our dues for that season. It may be super cheesy, but why can’t we act like it’s Christmas every day? Isn’t that what God commands us to do? Love him and love others, 1 day out of 365? Forgive literally only 70 times 7, until we reach 490? No. It is a 24/7, 365 days, 52 week, 525,600 minute gift we’ve been given and been challenged to give to others. (sidenote: before watching Rent, I never knew that’s how many minutes were in a year. See? Musicals CAN be educational!)
With that being said, I had a wonderful holiday. In some senses, it feels like I had time off, but to do a different task, so I’m still tired. Trying to get together with everyone that wants to see you and give all of them equal amounts of your attention that they deserve, and to fit it all into 5 days is a little overwhelming at times. But I’m glad I did it. With every year that goes by, I realize more and more just how freaking big my family is and none of them are blood-related. 🙂
Hmm…I sense my thoughts wandering into the inane and I should probably go to bed. As I face the new year, I’m ready to conquer any challenges that might be foolish enough to face me. I’m ready to be changed and molded into someone better. I’m ready to get to know everyone else in my circle better. And as difficult as it can be, I’m ready to have God teach me a little deeper what it means to love like he does.
“Heal my heart and make it clean; open up my eyes to the things unseen, show me how to love like you have loved me.
Break my heart for what breaks yours; everything I am for your Kingdom’s cause, as I walk from earth into eternity.”