Monday, December 22, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time

It's the most wonderful time of year. At least that's what the song says. 

I openly admitted my love for this season which allows my inner child to actually be appropriate in public. Yes, I said this while donning my "tacky" Christmas sweater, complete with garland, packages, ornaments and, of course, a working strand of lights. It goes without saying that I embrace the Elf-like philosophy of spreading cheer by singing loud for all to hear. 

All of this makes it hard to understand why this season has but 3 days until Christmas and I find myself wondering how it's "slipped away." We scaled back this year. After a budget overhaul and some different goals we determined not to let Christmas break us. The same must be true from an emotional standpoint and not just budgetary purposes. What I'm realizing is that just because we aren't shopping to our limits, we certainly have been stretching ourselves to extremes. 

Doesn't everyone? I keep hearing it from so many, "We're just so busy." "We've just got to make it through the holidays." "This time of year is so demanding." "The emotions during this season have been on heightened alert." Yes, all statements I've heard from different people who must be feeling a level of overwhelmed that I can relate to.

But if we stop the buying, stop the wrapping, stop the decorating, stop the baking, stop the parties, stop the demands, stop the overwhelming expectations for a moment, would we find what we're looking for? Strip away the tinsel and lights, scale back the mounds of packages and find the simplicity of the season we truly are meant to celebrate.

We enter the hustle and bustle and lose the peace and joy. We fill our season with overwhelming demands and miss the momentous meaning of Christ's birth. We consume the season in all its shiny packaging, we take in the the commercialism and overlook the miracle of God wrapped in flesh. 

I feel Christmas spirit. It's in my marrow. It helps that my personality lends itself to, well, like I said an inner child that embraces everything about the celebratory season. But I don't want to miss the miracle. I don't want to overlook the reason we gather, buy, wrap, gift, give, get, sing, decorate and every other offering this season is filled with. More importantly, I don't want to just "get through" the holidays. Believe me, I know the demands it brings. I also know right beside my abundance of Christmas spirit is a near melt down if I allow the to do lists to take over. 

The Christmas spirit that runs deep is the joy of our Savior and the gift He came to bring us. The peace that passes all understanding when we place our trust in a Sovereign God, who admid all confusion sent His Son to earth to fulfill a plan that only He could orchestrate. Tis the season. The most wonderful time of year when we honor this gift, when we celebrate life and new birth, when we give and receive the incomparable love meant for each of us. When I keep this in mind, I can truly say it is the most wonderful time of the year. It's the reason I sing. It's the reason I don tacky Christmas sweaters. It's the motivation behind my desire to spread cheer - ultimately to spread the joy of Jesus. 

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