Joy feels urgent to me as we enter into this Christmas season. It’s the season of Advent which is all about waiting- finding hope in the midst of darkness that never seems to end. My friend Alex Kuykendall released a book recently, Loving My Actual Christmas and it was a hopeful reminder that we can choose to experience joy this season. I read it in September & it’s helped me to be mindful entering into the holidays with my time, budget and relationships.
This year I saw people posting on Facebook that they put up their Christmas trees the day after Halloween. That they had started watching Hallmark Holiday movies before Thanksgiving. Whenever I see Christmas decorations in stores before Halloween I feel a twinge of disgust and frustration that marketers seem to unload an avalanche of holiday swag before another has ended. Orange and Black mixed with Green and Red. Gross. This year though I feel differently. Christmas can’t come soon enough.
This year has felt like a gut punch to so many of us. Waking up to read about the latest school shooting, mosque bombing, innocent black men murdered, hurricanes upon hurricanes, p*ssygrabbers who flaunt their authority in the face of the millions of women who posted #metoo. All of this amidst trying to adult, find clean socks for the kids and pay bills on time if you’re fortunate enough to be able to pay your bills.
In the midst of the darkness I think we welcome Christmas because it represents a new start, hope fulfilled and meaningful relationships. It’s easy to distract myself with the busyness of the season or the fun things to do with my kids. But in all of the fun and busyness, my heart still longs for something richer that doesn’t fade when the wrapping paper is thrown away or the last cookie is baked. Scripture says “God is light- in him there is no darkness at all.” This year, I want and need a deeper connection to the one who is light.