by John Partridge
Another year has passed, and we are only a short time away from Christmas. With my return to school this Advent season has seemed to be even more of a whirlwind than before even though we no longer have children home and the demands of sporting events and Christmas concerts. And despite the busyness, perhaps because of the busyness, it feels less like Christmas than usual. This week I intend to decorate. Being festive for the holiday season is typically not my “thing” but I feel the need to do it just so that the visible signs, the decorations, and the lights, can help to prepare me, and bring me into the spirit of Christmas.
It isn’t uncommon for me to feel a bit of humbug during this season, and I once played a lot of Christmas music to fight against it. But music isn’t as easily accessible to me as it once was. But although I know that some of you are die-hard Christmas people who start decorating before Halloween, play Christmas music almost year ‘round, put up five Christmas trees, and own a Christmas sweater for every day in December, I suspect that I’m not alone. I’m pretty sure that there are others of you who fell like Christmas has snuck up on them and who are struggling with a bit of ‘humbug.” It doesn’t yet *feel* like Christmas.
Maybe it’s because the kids aren’t at home, or because we haven’t gone to a Christmas concert, because we haven’t had time to decorate, or because there’s an empty chair at the table that held a loved one last year, or because… well, because life happens, and all sorts of things happened to us since last year. I get it. It’s happened to me.
But whether that resonates with you or not, I invite you to fight against the humbug. We still have some time left. Come to church, listen to the choir, sing some carols, enjoy our decorations, push yourself to do some decorating of your own, even if you only have the energy to put up a construction paper Christmas tree, then do it.
Put Christmas Eve on your Calendar and come and enjoy a celebration of the Christ child with us at 7:00 pm. And remember that this year, Christmas falls on Sunday so plan on being here at Christ Church, or wherever you worship, on Christmas morning. It isn’t a surprise. It happens every seven years. But rather than thinking of it as an inconvenience, consider it an opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus on his birthday. It’s a bit like children who are born on February 29th. They have a birthday every year, but they only get to celebrate on their actual birthday once every four years.
Don’t let Christmas sneak upon you. Talk to your families. Plan to join us on Christmas morning to celebrate the birth of our Savior. We won’t be long. I promise that the sermon won’t be long. But I hope that all of you will decide to come to the party and celebrate with Jesus on his birthday.
Don’t be a humbug.
I look forward to seeing you on Christmas Eve on Saturday, and the next day on Christmas morning.
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