It’s two weeks away from Christmas. Are you feeling anticipation and excitement or is there a sense of panic, anxiety and dread?
Usually about this time I want to run away or let the kids run around the house to find the presents so we can enjoy them as their winter break starts and so I don’t have to waste wrapping paper. We live in America, and this is not Christmas. This is the holiday season, and the holidays make people crazy. I just saw a lady get out of her car to scream at another driver in the parking lot. Crazy scream with arms flailing. Happy holidays, lady.
I love Christmas, and the older I get the more I cling to traditions, new and old. I have faint memories of decorating the tree. My hope is that my kids will have much more vivid memories of decorating the house and the tree. Decorating the tree together is a must. Each child has a set of “their” ornaments – their baby ornaments, the homemade ornaments, the school photo in a frame ornaments. Bethany has an ornament that looks like a pair of pointe shoes. Corban has a few Star Wars ornaments. Elias has a few Star Wars ornaments. Peter has a few Star Wars ornaments. I have one of a cup of coffee, and Elias just bought me one with my name on it.
I’ve told the kids that when they grow up and move out they will get to take their ornaments to their new home to decorate their first Christmas tree with while I cry buckets. There is a pang in my heart even as I write this.
A few years ago when I was serving as the worship director at a church I introduced the church to Advent. Congregation, meet Advent. It helped us as a contemporary worship service kind of church and me as a selfish, working out my personal issues through my parenting person remember that waiting for Christmas and our Christ invites us to do just that – to wait, to hope, to anticipate, to see.
Last year we asked the kids to wait to open their presents until we had a short family devotion and then lit the center candle – the Christ candle. There was some grumbling, but it was worth the wait. This year we will do the same, except this year I will remember to blow out the four tapers before we open gifts because purple and pink wax all over the artificial wreath is messy.
I’d love to hear from all of you…what are some of the traditions you keep during this blessed season?