Sunday, November 27, 2011
Many years ago, I remember looking across the street with utter disdain at my tacky neighbors who had decked their yard and home with all their Christmas regalia before Thanksgiving. It was certainly beautiful but... Good Lord, it wasn't even Thanksgiving yet, let alone December.
I spent a few days in my puritanical Congregational "you just do not get it, do you?" line of thought, until I met her in the grocery store for that last big shop before Thanksgiving.
"Laura, I'm so excited!"
"Your home looks really lovely right now, all ready for the holidays." I said with the best false voice I could muster...
"I know it's a little early to have it all up and ON, it's not even Thanksgiving and all... but our entire family is coming and we haven't been together for years. We will celebrate Christmas together for the first time in ages. I'm really looking forward to it."
So much for my prissy view of WHEN and HOW we should celebrate Christmas.
In today's UCC Daily Devotional, writer Martin B. Copenhaver says that Christmas is a surprise party, illustrating Mark 13:22-25 from today's lectionary.
Martin writes, "In a way it is unfortunate that we always celebrate Christmas on the same day of the year, because that makes the coming of Christ seem almost predictable. But Christmas is more like a surprise party."
We never know the hour or the day... be ready at anytime so you don't miss it.
I'm an Advent person. I am. This can be a richly transformative time of year for me. I'm very good at waiting. I am extremely patient - anyone who knows me well knows that to be a true fact. And during Advent, I can do all the right things and it still feels anticlimatic on Christmas.
Waiting and patience...
Lately though, the holiday song on my mind comes from the Broadway musical, "Mame."
Haul out the holly
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again
Fill up the stocking
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now
For we need a little Christmas
Right this very minute
Candles in the window
Carols at the spinet...
For I've grown a little leaner
Grown a little colder
Grown a little sadder
Grown a little older
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder
Need a little Christmas now
For we need a little music
Need a little laughter
Need a little singing
Ringing through the rafter
As I have seen more and more houses decorated with holiday lights turned on, Christmas trees in windows...I am reminded that the days are tough. We've grown a little colder, a little sadder, a little older...People need a little hope, a little joy, a little laughter... maybe especially right now. And just because I am an Advent person, doesn't mean that I get it any better than anyone else.