It ’tis the season of Advent. A time of preparation for the coming of the birth of Christ as Christmas draws near. We are asked to pay attention to the little signs of life with Christ in and around us. Giving ourselves permission to take a few moments of each day to welcome the notion of the ‘coming’ of Him in our daily lives, preparing our hearts and minds to the true meaning of Christmas and Jesus’ birth. I think of that phrase I have seen numerous times over the years in capturing the reality of “keeping Christ in Christmas”. I wonder if I put out a survey and asked a question or two about Christmas and its origin to young and old alike…what would be the response. I am wondering what I might discover. Hope – joy – love – peace – glad tidings – a gift???
I try very hard to keep Christ in Christmas. I do a bit of a grr and growl when I see the sign Xmas. Or the notion that when you go out shopping or in public settings, the greeting has become a wee bit of a challenge. WHAT DOES ONE SAY? Walking with my faith, my story is centred around the sights and sounds of Advent, a season of preparation. It is a time to wish others a very Merry Christmas at least it comes out of me without thought. To prepare one’s heart and mind in hope, in peace, in love and in joy dwelling on Christ being in my life and how He is working in me. So I sit with that thought and wonder about sharing the season of Christmas. For that is what I am doing in this world of ours today. Right? Sharing the season, a season that is filled with many different interpretations and perspectives. And for some, Christmas itself is not a part of their world. For others it is Santa and reindeer and elf on the shelf and ho ho ho and lets not forget old Scrooge “Bah humbug” LOL. Yet I want to be true to me while honouring and respecting those around me. So….how does one share the season?
It is not only sharing the season with others but living amongst the paradoxical commercializing mad drive of Xmas; the secularization of Christmas traditions and practices. Accepting the invitation to do the good deeds for others; and all in between. I love it all. Toggling between the human and divine of Christmas as it has such fervour and joyful glee all on its own. Can I get carried away? Lose sight? Be in the tizzy of preparation during Advent and yet at the same time be thinking of what is going under the tree for those I love? Yes yes and yes. But is it not all good? Is that okay?
Yes I think it is. The traditions that are set forth in faith and one’s own family traditions from western societal Christmas secular celebrations brought down over the years should come together as an acceptance. Finding traditions that honour the spirit of giving whether it is under the family tree or the most wondrous spiritual experience of giving a gift to those in need. These traditions take a lot of time and energy but in the end, does it not remind you of the Advent seasons candles lit….hope, peace, joy and love. The most ordinary acts of love and joy become extraordinary in the act of sharing in the season.
Simple acts that bring joy. Not necessarily for you (oh I do love to give though) but for the receiver. Taking my own children and then my own grandkids to an Angel tree to select a family name to get gifts for them or going to the store to pick items for the Christmas Cheer Drive donation box. Not own table but another. How can you not be enraptured by the spirit of giving and love for one another. I think about my grandkids or daughters, opening up a gift given to them, and their eyes light up, their mouth forms an “oh” or sometimes a tear is shed.
However we come to this place of celebration I pray for the goodness that is the in this invitation at Christmas time. Being filled with the essence of breathing life into the spiritual being in each of us. I think of that beautiful song done many moons ago “It’s Christmas Time” by Band-aid in the mid 80’s. I just watched it play again. In that, it speaks to me, my heart and mind and the wonder gift of giving. Many talented and inspiring voices come together to raise awareness of the preciousness of life. Gift of life is not to be taken for granted.
Sharing the season, it can be life changing in the lives of people all around. Blessings.
Let us pray for those whom are in need of our prayers this day. Amen.