Lights in the windows. House tastefully decorated. Tree beautifully trimmed. Gifts purchased and wrapping begun. Holiday baked goods in the freezer. Christmas cards addressed and stamped. List of things to do in December methodically checked off.
No, this is not what’s happening at the Wright House right now. Only in my dreams.
Time marches on and December 1 is here. It’s Christmas time!
My dear friend, Nell, used to say, “Ever year is different.” When I was younger, I didn’t want to hear that because I wanted every year to be the same. Same traditions, same family members around the table, same familiar foods and activities that made up my Christmas memories. My friend was older and wiser, and she knew things I had not yet learned.
Now that I am older and hopefully wiser, I yearn to be flexible as each year makes its own way into my vision of an acceptable, if not perfect, celebration.
Some things will need tweaking in the midst of busy preparations and multiple activities. But one thing needs to remain stable and that is carving out a time of stillness with my God. How can I face the world if I don’t first come face to face with Him?
I need to be still, even if just for a little while, to keep my vision in focus, to tune my ear to hear His voice over the clamor. Stillness comes when I behold His glory above the glitter and shine of the artificial.
It is the only way I can reflect Him in a season that airbrushes its displays. I want to radiate His joy, to walk in His peace in a world that is devoid of peace.
It begins at home, to my own Sweet William and how I relate and respond to him when I’m feeling stressed or frantic. It extends to the neighbors, the waitress and cashier, those waiting in line with me, and even the drivers on the road who are not aware of my agenda (oh Lord, help me here!).
This first day of December I determine to dress in my Christmas best every morning. I will put on
- the attitude of Christ which is humility, thinking of others more than myself.
- the always-in-style virtues of compassion, kindness, gentleness, patience, and forgiveness.
- His love which ties it all together.
- and not the least of these, a garment of praise.
This is no ugly Christmas sweater.
Advent. The coming. Looking hopefully for Jesus to be a part of my every day. His life in me gives me strength to follow His lead.
Perhaps this could be my fashion statement all year long.