When Christmas Comes

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!

Peace,

Joy

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!