need a little Christmas
Every year I struggle a bit with the guilt/anxiety of if I am doing the Christmas experience right. Am I savoring the holiday? Am I relishing in the traditions? Am I making sure I watch the right movies? Everything has to be just right, just Christmasy. Its not supposed to be 70 degrees. Christmas is supposed to be cold. Supposed to be white. If its not. I feel nervous. What if this warm weather keeps things from being christmasy? I have to have my tree up the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I have to suck every last sappy drop out of the tree. Listen to the right Christmas songs. Make the right cookies with the same simple icing because thats how we've always done it. We've go to shop shop shop. Wear the ugly sweater. Send out the postcards. Go to the concert. Drink the egg nog. And more egg nog. and maybe a little bit more for good measure. Every year I feel I have to ram all these things into 25 days as insurance that I won't miss Christmas.
I was in high school when the Jim Carey Grinch movie came out in theaters. A Faith Hill song from the movie, "Where are you Christmas," secretly brought me to tears every night in my room. I was missing Christmas. I had lost it. "Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you? Why have you gone away? Where is the laughter you used to bring me? Why can't I hear music play?"
When I start feeling that christmasy goodness slipping through my finger tips, my instinct is to pack in the cracks tight with more. More wrapping paper. More candy canes. A new tradition here. A new ornament there. There. That - should - work. That should fill those cracks. Nothing should slip. Christmas isn't going anywhere. Nope. Not gonna loose it this year.
You've done it again. Where are you Christmas? This isn't right. I woke up this morning to frost on the grass and windows. My kitchen smells like clove & cinnamon. My presents are wrapped. Bing Crosby is on the stereo. I've got on new wooly mittens. And yet. No Christmas.
We can't make Christmas. We like to think it can be easily manufactured. Cue Dr. Suess -- "Perhaps Christmas doesn't come from a store -- perhaps Christmas means a little bit more." And every year I know that. I outwardly speak against the commercialism of Christmas, but in my heart I cling to all the garland and trimmings as a supplement for Christmas sentiment. I need it in order to feel a certain depth to the story of Jesus. As if the miracle of God's love would not stand without a cup of hot cocoa on the side.
But those words, need & feel. Christmas was not purposed by God for sentiment. We don't celebrate it each year for the feelings. It's not about feeling. But it is about need. I need a Savior. And a Savior came. He came "without ribbons... came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags." A Savior, my savior, He came. And he will come again. It doesn't have to be white and theres no need for a partridge in a pear tree.
This if far to often my tune:
This if far to often my tune:
Haul out the holly; Put up the tree before my spirit falls again. Fill up the stocking...For we need a little Christmas Right this very minute...Put up the brightest string of lights I've ever seen. Slice up the fruitcake; It's time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough. For I've grown a little leaner, Grown a little colder, Grown a little sadder, Grown a little older.
Let me sing
All Praise and Glory
To my King.