For all of who’ve been hiding under a rock–as I must have been doing–December 1 is tomorrow.
Less than four weeks till Christmas, and I’m being sucked into the vortex of hustle and bustle. Not by choice. But I feel it in my bones. I hear the whispers of “Get going. You’re not doing enough now. Get baking. Get buying. Get decorating.”
Get is a life.
We’ve been trying to finish decorating the tree for six days. Hopefully it will be by Christmas. That doesn’t bother me.
I’ve not begun buying gifts for anyone–no cyber deals, no Black Friday deals, no pre-buying because I knew what anyone wanted. That doesn’t bother me.
Baking? Not even a blip on the radar of my mind. That doesn’t bother me.
The homemade gifts I always expect to make each year because someone else did or I made the mistake of gazing at Pinterest for more than fifteen seconds? Nope. That doesn’t bother me.
Christmas cards may be finished sometime before the end of the year. That doesn’t bother me.
What bothers me is the pressure I’m feeling to begin. To do something. To want to do something.
I’m in denial.
Don’t know how that’s possible. You can’t leave your home without reminders of the season. If your TV is on, every commercial is what you should buy for those you love.
Everyone knows better than I what I should be doing now. My inbox is full of ideas and recipes and gift possibilities I should consider. I see folks around me who’ve done their decorating and gift buying and already have their presents wrapped. Their organizational skills have given them bandwidth to schedule all the things they need to do.
Christmas is a reminder that I’m not a detail person. That I’ve operated too much of my life on the fly. Yes, I’m adaptable–and that has wonderful pluses that allows me to go with the flow. Planning? Not so much.
And then I hear the other whispers–no, I’m not nuts. These whispers remind me that none of this is what Christmas is really about. Not the hoopla or the presents. Not the decorations, cookies, parties or lights.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Hope. Hope that came in the form of a Baby. A Baby who’d grow to be the Savior.
Many would rather not think about this reason for celebration. They’d rather do away with any spiritual aspects of this holiday and make it a retail bonanza. Period. Many would rather not admit they need help. That they aren’t content with their lives, that they lack hope for tomorrow. No matter how much they have or don’t have.
Life is more than stuff and parties. Contentment is that wonder that comes from knowing I’m fully known, loved, and forgiven by the God who made me. Having an assurance that this life isn’t all there is. Heaven waits.
These other things? There’s a lot of fun in giving and decorating. Parties are enjoyable and gatherings are important to connect people.
What do I need?
I need Jesus.
Way more satisfying than a Christmas cookie.