Back in October, I had thought about how I would revive my Advent series, plan out the weeks of anticipation with well thought out messages to inspire, encourage and celebrate Christmas and have all the “busyness” of my life out of the way by December 1st. Tomorrow.
Instead, I continue to steadily, slowly search for and unpack boxes containing “Christmas.” Last year, I looked forward to these moments with desperation. I missed my Advent house, my decorations, even the Thomas Kincaid tree my mother bought us that has been slowly picked over by tiny fingers and possibly, the dog. It’s not as I imagined. Yes, I am grateful to have my stuff back. My garland, lights, funky ornaments and all the trimmings but as I carefully put my nativity into place I was reminded that Christmas is not about the stuff. It’s not about the presents with “WOW!”, it’s not about the parties or the planning but something deeper, richer and truer.
Our last year in Cambridge taught me a lot about what Christmas means. We had nothing. We bought a small tree and crafted homemade ornaments. Our presents to each other and our children cost no more than a tank of gas. But it was special. My home was warm and my heart was full because we took the time to be a family. To share moments like building snowmen, listening to the Salvation Army Brass play in the street, drink mulled wine and eat mince pies and above all remember just why we have Christmas.
I invite you in the next four weeks to prepare with us. To meditate on the promises of God which culminate in Christmas and climax in Easter.