'Tis the Season.
It's that time of year again. We're in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Holiday season. Everyone is rushing to get gifts for everyone on their list, shopping online, receiving boxes in the mail daily. The focus is on parties, and gifts, and decorations. People crave coziness, time with friends and family, warm drinks, and traditions. It really is a beautiful time of year, but also a time of year that I struggle to keep on track with the reason for it all. Let me be honest, I love Christmas lights, and Santa, and the tree, and giving gifts, and I get real caught up in it. I don't think it's a bad thing to love all of those things, they're comforting, they're magical, they're fun. But truly, there is a reason beyond all of this that I celebrate Christmas. A reason that doesn't go away on December 26th. I tell myself every year that my focus will be on the Gospel, that I will spend more time in the Word, that I will choose worship music not just Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, yet every year I jump right into my usual focus. I'm not writing this to say I have it all figured out, but I am writing this to say I feel more full when I remember why we celebrate Christmas Day, I feel more full when its not the check list of things to do during the Christmas Season. I mean seriously, the other day I found myself getting stressed out because I didn't know if I would have time to make it to all of my favorite Holiday events in the city.. that is not the purpose of this season. This is a season of expectation, a season of celebrating our Lord coming to earth, as a baby, to save us, to cover us in grace that we certainly do not deserve. For the next few weeks I'm going to challenge myself to keep focus on the real, true reason for celebration. To keep my eyes set on a Christmas joy that lasts a lifetime, not a short season at the end of the year. This doesn't mean I'm not excited for all of the Christmas traditions that have grown to be so special to me, this doesn't mean I'm not going to walk around looking at Christmas lights and drinking mulled wine, and this doesn't mean I'm not counting down the day until I can see my family open up the gifts I've carefully chosen for them. But it does mean that at the end of each tradition, each event and each gift, the joy I feel won't end, because it's much deeper than that.