My challenge each year is to remember to S L O W D O W N and embrace the joy of Christmas. As a Catholic, I attempt to use Advent as a time to prepare myself for Christ’s coming (again). Mostly I fail.
I gripe about shopping. I complain about the weather, the traffic, the costs of things, and the rudeness of sales clerks. I eat more than I should and then complain that my co-workers are bringing too much food into the office. I bitch about the lack of consideration of others and then I push my way through crowds to get what I want (when I want it!). And I swear to all that is holy, if I hear Mariah Carey sing “All I Want For Christmas Is You” one more time, I might actually bleed from the ears.
So much for “glad tidings”.
But then, as happens most years, something in me stirs. Sometimes I’m hit over the head with the obvious: A loved one struggling with illness. A friend in need. A tragedy in a far-off land. A crisis at home. Other times I am reminded of my blessings: A granddaughter recovered from a concussion. Grown children home for the holidays. Gainful employment. The kindness of strangers. A loving wife. A forgiving God.
Last night we attended our grandson’s preschool Christmas program. There he was bounding up on the altar decked out as Saint Joseph. He was one of many Josephs. In fact, it was a preschool full of Marys, Josephs and Shepherds singing and smiling and wiggling. Little faces beaming! And at least one old face beaming back. O Holy Night!
And suddenly I found Christmas.