Ok, maybe what I am about to say doesn’t mean your Christmas will be RUINED, but my hope in writing this is to show that Christmas can be more than what so many TV ads and pop culture want it to be.
It’s the day after Thanksgiving. The Tryptophan from the turkey is worn off. The guests have gone home. A respectable number of dishes have been washed. That Hershey’s Kiss commercial (you know… the one where the Kisses are like little bells playing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”) has been playing for a month. In spite of how bad WHAM! sings “Last Christmas” you are stoked to go and get your Christmas tree. So from here, you go out and purchase or cut down a tree, you decorate it, and you put up all the other Holly Jolly items. AND NOW YOU WAIT!
WAITING you say?
Yes, the time of Christmas comes at the EXACT same speed as any other day. Even though as kids we thought it took longer and as adults we think it sneaks up on us out of NOWHERE, it’s just time. No matter how much people want you to think it’s sooner (by playing Jingle bells in October or having Black Friday sales on Thursday), the truth of the matter is December 25th only comes ONCE A YEAR.
The truth of the matter, this is a constant between both Christian and Secular people alike. We both have a very special day to look forward to. The nice thing about the Church, is it has been preparing people for the joy of Christmas for a very long time. How, you ask? By celebrating the time BEFORE Christmas! The season of Advent. Advent (meaning “coming” gives you the chance to hear the Bible, pray and contemplate the coming of the baby in the manger as well as the second coming of our Lord.
How is this done?
Of course on the Sundays of Advent the Church is decorated in Blue or violet, the readings reflect the season as well as the sermon (hopefully) is filled with the promises of the coming Lord.
Another way the Church celebrates this time is the midweek services. These are usually on Wednesdays and in many Churches involve a type of meal (Soup Supper/Potluck) followed by a brief service (usually with an Advent theme). The preparation comes when you are not just waiting for a particularly over commercialized day, but a day which commemorates the birth of our Lord and the promise for him to come again.
So what are you waiting for?
If you are used to celebrating this waiting, great! If not, look into it. Check and see if your church has anything for this season. If not, try and find one that does. Give yourself and your loved ones a chance to do more than just sit around, actually look toward being prepared for Christmas.
God bless your waiting!