There are certain things that I simply will never forget. The Christmas that I got Muffin the mini poodle. The first time riding a horse. The first time I went to the beach in California by myself. Meeting Steve for the first time. When I became a mother.
And Christmas in New Mexico. I remember dressing in velvet dresses and going outside to light the hundred of luminaries that we lined our sidewalk and the roof of the house with. Literally hundreds. I can remember feeling so big being out there with my brothers lighting the little lanterns.
Then we would gather and have a glorious meal that lasted hours with lots of conversation and laughter. We would get to open one present. Dad would read the story of the first Christmas and we would head out to the midnight service at the Episcopal Church.
I remember a few of the toys…but I’ll always remember that feeling of celebration and family.
Now, December 1st and I find myself looking over Christmas wish lists and talking with Steve to figure out what to get and how to make things even. Looking at the calendar that is filling rapidly with good, but busy, schedules. There is that little inkling of stress starting to find its way into my day.
I’m resisting it. My friend Vicky wrote about this as well today, and she has some great thoughts about keeping ourselves focused. It is work. It has to be intentional. We cannot just slide through the holiday season and find that we have done well in staying worshipful and hopeful and focused.
One of the things I’ve tried to do is have an Advent reading. I’m going to try this one with the boys at bedtime. Still haven’t settled on one for myself (I know, I need to get with it!), and I’m open to suggestions. Our church is decorated and there is that sense that this is special. It doesn’t really matter to me whether or not Jesus was born exactly on Dec 24th….it matters that this is when His Body celebrates that He came.
So, be intentional.
Prepare yourself to celebrate and rejoice and settle in to the fact that our God came. He is. He will come again. Hallelujah.