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Holiday Season

So Halloween has come and gone and we are heading full bore into the “Holiday Season”. (By the way, we had just three “trick or treaters” this year…and they were all high school kids! What’s up with that?). Our church is already gearing up: Christmas parties, special events, gift giving ideas, service plans and decorating dates. These next three weeks of November leading up to Thanksgiving are just window dressing for the mad rush into Christmas. I saw a Christmas commercial yesterday. And Hallmark is showing Christmas movies. The mall is abuzz with Christmas. Ready or not here it comes. For all those who hate this time of year, who hate the hustle into the holidays, who say things like “I can’t believe it’s Christmas already”, who hate the early signs of Christmas and who hate all the commercialization associated with the holidays, I have three words for you:…”Get over it!” Its here and you can either fight it or embrace it; curse it or let it be a blessing; let it run you over or walk with it.

Although I agree that there is a “Christmas Rush”, we don’t have to be rushed or feel rushed. Instead of dreading these days we can enjoy the time of preparation. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving can be filed with daily prayers of thanksgivings, seasonal aromas filling our homes and warm thoughts on cold November nights, culminating in a shared feast. Then, the Sunday after Thanksgiving begins the season of Advent where we experience the gathering of family and friends, the exchanging of gifts, the consumption of favorite treats and the retelling of the Christmas story. These are great days indeed! In so many ways it is truly the most wonderful time of the year!

I usually hold on to the last visages of summer as long as I can. I dread the coming cold, I curse the early darkness and I can’t wait until December 22 because it means the days are getting longer. But this year I was determined to embrace the change of seasons. I chose to cheerfully close the door on summer, thankful for that season. I leapt into fall with anticipation of things we get to experience during this time of year (Church Retreat, a fall vacation, beginning of Discipleship classes.) Instead of wishing my way to next spring I will live in the moment of the season…and hopefully carry it into winter!

The change of seasons is analogous to the seasons of life. There are seasons we love and seasons we may not love so much. There are seasons we wish would quickly pass and seasons we wish could last forever. But somehow, if we could learn to love the season we are in, to experience the joy in the midst of the challenge, to slow down enough to see the beauty and enjoy the hidden treasures, perhaps the season will become more blessing than curse. Whatever season of life we experience will be most fully realized when we embrace it as a part of God’s plan and an invitation to trust Him who is Creator.

So…Happy Thanksgiving, even if its three weeks away. And Merry Christmas, even if it is seven weeks away. Slow down. Walk in it. Embrace it. Its a most wonderful time of the year.

What do you think?

How does this make you feel?

God’s Blessings,