By Elisabeth Corcoran
I was listening to the radio the other day and the DJ said, 'it's almost Christmas - hard to believe it's come around again so fast...' I've been known to utter that same sentiment from time to time...though it did strike me as odd when she said it. It's not like it's on a different date every year. Or one year we celebrate it in December than the calendar companies play with our minds and bump it up to July the next year and 'how did it sneak up on us again?!' It's the same 364 days from last Christmas as it was the year before and the year before that. So, why then, does it seem to catch all of us off-guard every year?
Maybe because every year Walmart starts pulling out the Christmas trees a bit earlier than the year before. I actually saw them sitting out a few aisles away from the Halloween candy this year. Next year - they'll be hanging mistletoe by the school supplies and in 2005 they'll be selling fireworks and wreathes in the parking lot.
Or maybe it's because Christmas is no ordinary holiday. It's not like Columbus Day where the only blip on the screen is no mail, banks are closed and couches are on sale. This is Christmas we're talking about: a month-long extravaganza of food, friends, family gatherings, presents, open houses, caroling, cards, parties and whatnot.
Or maybe because of all the feelings this holiday can stir up - sweet memories of childhood, days and times gone by - that we realize the passage of time in general a bit more poignantly...we see our kids growing up, we feel our bodies reminding us that we're not 16 anymore, we remember pulling out the decorations like it was just yesterday, and we remember the commitment we made sometime last Thanksgiving not to let that Christmas pass us by without slowing down and letting it all really sink in. Let what sink in? You know what I'm talking about - the entire reason we (and most of the world) even celebrates Christmas.
This is no ordinary holiday for sure, Moms. And we Moms set the tone for our homes. This year...slow down. This year...take a look at your calendar before December even begins and make sure you and your family aren't doing too much. This year...just say no to one of those party invitations and instead, serve together as a family - at a shelter maybe, or delivering gifts to a home for the elderly. This year: when you bake all those cookies, put on some Christmas music, have the kids help you, and don't worry if they all turn out 'just right'. This year: get up a bit early even once or twice...make yourself a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, light a few candles, and read yourself the Christmas story. This year...ask God to reveal Himself to you...what does He want for you this Christmas? I can tell you for sure it's not migraines and going into debt and more impatience than usual. He wants to give you peace. Let Him.
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