Does it seem to anyone else that Christmastime is just really short this year??
We actually put our tree up a week before Thanksgiving so it's SEEMED Christmasy in our house, but I don't think our hearts were really into it yet. Mike and I were talking about this last night as he was hanging Christmas Lights on the front of the house. He has been VERY anxious to get everything up and decorated this year. Don't get me wrong, he USUALLY loves Christmas (as do I) and we often go over the top with decorating (3 years running as the winners of the decorating contests at FCC!!), but for some reason we just have this NEED to decorate this year.
We came to the conclusion that it is probably due to the fact that this has been one of the HARDEST years in our marriage that we've ever faced. Praise God we've grown closer during a time that would probably break up a lot of other marriages, but it's almost like we're trying to get this year over quickly. We need the refreshment of Christmas and then the cleansing of the new year...We NEED IT!
But is that how we should be going about this? I mean...shouldn't the anticipation come from wanting to remember the anticipation people felt of meeting the Messiah? Even the eve of Christ's birth was BUSY...it comes with the territory of the season I think (yes, I know that Christ was most likely born in the springtime...just hear me out). The night of Christ's birth was busy due to people returning to their hometowns for the census. They were being reunited with families, I'm sure mom's and grandma's were preparing their homes for lots and lots of company. Meals were being cooked, bread baking, houses being cleaned. It's really not much different from what we see now.
But...amidst all of the hullabaloo there was something so beautiful as a baby being born. Everyone was so busy that I'm sure they didn't notice the poor woman who was forced to sleep in a barn and lay her baby in a feeding trough. I'm sure they didn't notice the poor man who wanted nothing more than to offer his wife the best possible service and place to deliver her baby, and only be disappointed that he had to go with this alternative. I'm sure they didn't notice the smiles as they looked down at this precious baby and no longer worried about where they were sleeping. From that point forward all they could see was his beautiful sleeping face.
That is the true meaning of Christmas...it was before the shepherds came. Before the wise men visited with gifts. It was the peace and the love of this precious gift sent from heaven.
May you all have a blessed and PEACEFUL Christmas this year.