Christmas came upon us fast this year, what with Thanksgiving falling so late in November. Nevertheless, this is a season I do not want to rush.
It’s what our culture tells us to do. Rush! Before it’s too late! Buy it now! Snag the deal! Do the thing!
But Christmas, in it’s essence, is about waiting, isn’t it? Waiting for Christmas morning. Waiting to open the sparkling gifts under the tree. Waiting for a snow day. Waiting for the birth of a Savior. Waiting for His return.
The Israelites had been waiting for 400 years without a single word from God, without a prophet, without direction. Waiting for the Messiah.
And here we are, waiting for the morning we celebrate His coming.
I think the waiting is as important as the celebration. If there were no wait, there would be no eager anticipation. If gifts were given and opened daily, there would be no fulfillment of pleasure longed for. If cookies were baked and eaten each week, there would be no special treats. If trees and homes were decorated with lights every day of the year, there would be no wonder and awe.
So despite the rush of the season, we will wait. And we will savor the waiting. The expectation. The preparing. We will make merry in the in between moments. THIS is as much Christmas as December 25th, perhaps moreso.
And in the waiting, in the preparing, we will bake cookies. We will ponder what special gifts to give our loved ones. We will read an Advent devotion with our littles. We will shop local for that special something. We will purchase a tree from our local nursery, bring it home and put twinkling lights on it. We will keep our decorations simple, for the sake of my sanity and to reduce visual noise. We will slowly wrap the longed for gifts and place under the tree one at a time.
On Christmas morning, we will take our time. We will eat tasty treats, and watch the overflowing joy of our preschooler experiencing the long-awaited Christmas day. We will open boxes gift by gift, experiencing not just the joy of receiving, but more importantly that of giving.
We will make merry all month long, and into January.