I popped into a store this morning and the enthusiastic, big-smiling woman behind the counter shouted, “Happy One Month to Christmas to you!”
It caught me off guard.
I’m not really thinking about Christmas these days. It’s too early.
Chris and I have talked about putting the Christmas lights up on the house before it gets too cold and I think it’s time to send a Christmas parcel to our daughter who lives out west. Chris just walked into the kitchen and told me that regretfully, “Jingle Bell Rock” has been his morning ear worm but besides these small reminders that Christmas is coming, I’m not in a Christmas mood . . . yet.
There are moments that I savour in this season – the Christmas Eve service at church, decorating the house, dragging a Christmas tree in the back door and decorating it with Chris, baking goodies and spending time with family but to be honest, this isn’t my favourite time of the year.
I still haven’t got it right.
I don’t even know what “right” is.
When I was young, Christmas was celebrated at my Nana and Pop’s house with all the extended family. THAT was a good time but Jesus was clearly missing.
When our kids were young, I really tried to teach, model and celebrate Jesus’ birth. Every Christmas Eve, we bundled up in warm clothes and watched the Nativity Story acted out in the local park. We came home for hot chocolate and we all opened up a new pair of pyjamas and a Christmas ornament. Christmas morning was bustling with excitement and the wooden nativity scene was under the tree but somehow, Jesus got lost in all the busyness.
Now the kids are all grown up and they seem disappointed every year. There aren’t as many traditions, Christmas giving feels more like Christmas swapping and I truthfully, I feel relieved when it’s all over. I don’t think it’s as awkward as I’m making it sound but it’s definitely easier for me to experience Jesus in the everyday than it is to experience Him during these loud, busy, commitment-filled, lead-up days of Christmas.
Maybe this season will be different.
Stay. Stop. Still. Stable. I’m learning.
Painful journey but I’m learning.