Do you remember how excited you were as a kid during the month of December as you anticipated the holidays as the stores began to fill up with tinsel, ornaments, colorful garlands and images of Santa and toys galore? We would begin to count the days down until we would open our presents.
When we were kids, we didn’t have a lot of money, but our mom always seemed to make everything beautiful in our home and would fill it with smells of gingerbread and sugar cookies. We would sing carols in church very Sunday and make Christmas crafts in Sunday School. Today, those memories come flooding back as we share the holidays with our own kids.
My favorite part of the holidays for me as a little girl was the Christmas singing as well as the stockings my mom would stuff to the brim with little cheap gifts and candy. Many people in our church would give us, their pastor’s family, food gifts that our mom would serve at our Christmas open house. I loved having the home filled with people and still do today.
Today, my anticipation is more about the celebration of the birth of Jesus, the concerts, seeing the Christmas lights, having the kids home, and having people over for some holiday celebration. Of course, I like to “shop ’til I drop” for those I love! I have to be honest about that.
What are you looking forward to or do you dread the busyness and commercialism we see now? Do you only see the negative and dwell on that? The holidays are what we decide to make it. Figure out what you want your celebration to be and focus on that. How about meeting a friend at Starbucks for a Christmassy drink and spending a hour or two just connecting? How about picking a single parent family to bless with a meal or gifts to make them smile? Maybe you could ask someone to go to a Christmas concert with you? Could you have a few people over, enjoy a potluck dinner and play games? Don’t wait to be asked; get out there and invite others to join you. There are so many ideas to keep you from isolating yourself behind a screen or a book and enjoy the holidays ahead with others.
I hope for you that you can have a childlike anticipation as you make the holidays something to celebrate and enjoy. Merry Christmas to each of you reading this blog.