It’s Never Too Early to Think about Christmas

I looked at the days my staff has off between now and the New Year and added in the days we are working from home and frankly, we are shut down. Its rather lonely in the office. But its lonely at home too.

My sister in law isn’t coming for Christmas, she’s trapped in Canada. She always brightens up the house. Our menagerie has moved on to that great walking park in the sky. The kids and grand kids cannot come to celebrate. We have talked to the family and decided that gifts were just too complicated this year. There was one place I drew the line.

We are putting up a tree. Robyn says maybe only with lights. I think that once we get moving we can have the place decorated like last year before she notices. And as for Christmas dinner for two, I demanded her signature dish, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. It’s the only time I will eat gravy, or ‘sauce’ as I call it.

Perhaps a calmer holiday will give us the opportunity to consider just what this season is all about. The religious among us complain that we commercialize the holidays just too much. I’m not sure that’s completely valid. Sure we shop for presents, trying to find just the right one for those on our list. It’s really kinda fun. All the people, jostling and singing. The rushing around and wrapping presents. It gives the season the ‘feeling’ that is Christmas. But not this year.

Shopping is ‘online.’ All the interaction is with FedEx, UPS, and Amazon. No it’s not the same.

Maybe a calmer holiday will give us the opportunity to consider just what this season is all about. When I write about the season, I talk of ‘magic.’  In its truest sense, magic is slight of hand, or misdirection, or trickery. Certainly, the true meaning of Christmas is more than that.

But then so is magic. When you see a performance, you want to believe. You know it’s a ‘trick’ but you want it to be real. And just for a minute, just for a brief though, you think it might just be so. And at the moment, the wonder, the magic comes alive.

Little kids believe in Santa, until they are what, 7 or 8, then they doubt and by the time they are 9 or 10 they are too sophisticated to believe. But if you catch them at a guarded moment you can see them glance at the tree, or Santa in the mall, and just for a second wonder… what if?

As we consider this season, the timeless story of the child in the manger, the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, and then dismiss it as a legend, or an impossibility. Just for a moment, consider ‘what if.’

The message this child, and his adult being brings is one that we cannot over state. It’s a message of peace, joy, and love. It’s a message of freedom, of sacrifice, and of belief in something larger than ourselves.

Not a bad thing to consider over the next week or so. Be it different, be it smaller, be it not quite as bright, it will still be a Merry Christmas.


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