Day 1 – Dear Christmas Season

Dear Christmas Season,

It’s December 1st – WELCOME!!

(And welcome to the lovely snow on my blog page, provided by Word Press, perfect for the occasion)

Now, we all know that because of the sentiment that Thanksgiving gets forgotten-about when the Christmas Season starts before the November day of thanks, it’s considered an injustice to talk about it before then. Starbucks jumps the gun, as do some department stores, and I (mostly) try to follow suit. Check out this great article from Relevant about this precise thing. There is SO much value in giving each holiday its own time and space. However, dear Christmas Season, you are not just about Christmas to me.

dear december

Here’s my definition of you, Christmas season.

Christ·mas  sea·son  (krsmszn) n. – The period of time from late October through early January when there is  a palatable joy in the air, where frivolity is excused, where perfect blessings in gifts are considered for those we love,  and the sense of anticipation of the coming celebration of Christ’s incarnation and subsequent birth is light on the lips of the church body. 

 Now, now, now, I know that there are a myriad of reasons that people don’t like the Christmas season, and those reasons are all valid. There are crappy people who aren’t nice at this time of year. There are people who get so stressed out that they can’t enjoy this time of year at all. There are people who only care about material possessions and consumerism at this time of year (and every other time of year). And of course, there are many people for whom this time of year is painful or lonely or broken. I am blessed in many ways and have the opportunity to choose to see this time of year for it’s potential and the beauty of its possibility and the delight of all the faith-in-humanity-restoring acts of charity that arise this time of year. This doesn’t make it perfect or idealized or without flaw. I simply believe in the beauty of this season for what it represents. 

One of my unashamedly favorite characters on Bones, Dr. Sweets, says this to explain Christmas to the absurdly-rational Dr. Brennan – “No, no. Dr. Brennan, it’s the feeling of Christmas. What people call the Christmas spirit. It’s a kind of dream or hope we carry with us from childhood. But as adults… As adults we’re imbued by the pragmatic routines of life, which makes it difficult for us to regard anything with childlike wonder. But, you know, it’s alright for us to try. We put on silly hats, and drape trees with sparkly lights, and wrap gifts in garish paper, and that’s good for us. It’s not only alright for us to allow children the transient experience of innocence and joy, it’s our responsibility.” 

The things that happen during the Christmas season are rarely present outside the church at any other time of year. People are joyful and cheery, full of this “Christmas spirit” that so easily evades us the other 11(ish) months of the year.  People give money more readily to those in need, buy gifts to donate to children not their own, and celebrate together with friends and family at every possible opportunity. I love that my mind quickly becomes occupied with hope and joy, with gracious service and charity, with jingle bells and mistletoe. The concepts of charity, love, and grace, should be familiar to the minds and hearts of Christians all year-round. I will be the first to admit, though, that this isn’t always the case for me and that I need the reminder of this season. Christmas season, you put a spring in my step like no other time of year.

Besides the delight of all things jolly in the season, within our church body the season brings us the celebration of Advent. Advent is all about the anticipation of the coming King on Earth. Christ is truly the reason for this season, though so many who celebrate Christmas don’t recognize or even know that. There are so many people who miss the eternal hope and joy that is woven through this season, as theirs becomes fleeting by the time the coffee is cool and the gifts are unwrapped on Christmas morning. For us in the church, our hope is re-imagined at this time every year as we consider what it was like for the children of God eagerly awaiting the Messiah that would come in the form of a baby in a manger. This King would rescue the flock of God from slavery and bondage, though in a way no one anticipated. (Stay tuned for another letter later this month ALL about this coming King in the form of baby Jesus.) The whole Christmas season is building up towards the 25th of December, when we celebrate the birth of Christ onto Earth, knowing that it’s not simply about His birth, but for the life He will live, the death He will die, and the resurrection of Him in defeat over death. The implications of the Christmas Season can’t be overstated, as all of this is wrapped up into celebrations during this time of year.

 

Dear Christmas Season, I am SO glad that you are here. 

christmas
Love,
Sarah Rose

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