When Christmas Comes.
When is it Christmas for you? When is that moment when it becomes Christmas? Is there a song you hear or carol you sing? Is it the smell of pine or baking cookies or candy canes? Is it the taste of a favorite holiday dish or seeing an annual TV show? Is there something that suddenly makes it Christmas for you - that moment which makes the season come alive before your eyes and in your heart?
Maybe it is different every year. I know that it is for me. Some years it’s the smell of evergreens. Or the house being decorated. Or watching a favorite holiday movie. Sometimes it is being at the Advent Festival, making the crafts and caroling together. Whatever it is, there’s always a moment for me when Christmas comes even if it’s early in the season.
Although I know it will soon be Advent and then Christmas, that moment when I feel Christmas come usually sneaks up on me. But then I realize that Christmas, with all its awe and wonder, its message of hope and grace and the power of God’s unending love for humankind, is truly here. And that it has never left. Yes, Christmas comes but God’s gift once given was for all time. How amazing is that? When does Christmas come for you?
When is that moment when you feel like a child again and your heart feels open to so much love that is spills out of you? When it happens, don’t brush it off or rush through it to get the next thing on your list done. Savor it. Breathe it in deeply. And then consider how to hold onto its message throughout the rest of the year.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful Advent and a Blessed Christmas season!
Christmas Carol by Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872 -1906
Ring out, ye bells!
All Nature swells
With gladness at the wondrous story,
The world was lorn,
But Christ is born
To change our sadness into glory.
Sing, earthlings, sing!
To–night a King
Hath come from heaven’s high throne to bless us.
The outstretched hand
O’er all the land
Is raised in pity to caress us.
Come at his call;
Be joyful all;
Away with mourning and with sadness!
The heavenly choir
With holy fire
Their voices raise in songs of gladness.
The darkness breaks
And Dawn awakes,
Her cheeks suffused with youthful blushes.
The rocks and stones
In holy tones
Are singing sweeter than the thrushes.
Then why should we
In silence be,
When Nature lends her voice to praises;
When heaven and earth
Proclaim the truth
Of Him for whom that lone star blazes?
No, be not still,
But with a will
Strike all your harps and set them ringing;
On hill and heath
Let every breath
Throw all its power into singing!