When it comes to the holidays, I can be a bit of a rebel.
Most of us complain about Christmas decorations going up in stores in September. We want to savor autumn and give each of our holidays a fair share. First the pumpkin latte and then the peppermint mocha, right?
I want to make each season special and Christmas significant. Not just for my family, but me, too.
I remember watching one of my all-time favorite Christmas movies, The Bishop’s Wife, with Cary Grant. They decorated the Christmas tree after the daughter went to bed on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve, y’all! Made my skin crawl with sheer panic. Somehow those women of the 40s knew how to pull it all off without a 24-hour Target or microwave.
But I don’t want to wait to celebrate the Joy to the world.
I’m not going to hold Christmas back to its spot on the calendar post-Thanksgiving. Instead, I’m flinging the door open wide to our hearts and home for Christ and His coming. There will be room here.
Christmas isn’t a 25-day countdown, but an adventure in celebrating that gives this divine moment the time and attention it deserves. Like my daughter told me as we saw the first Christmas lights on our drive home from ballet class, “I love the Christmas lights because I have Christmas in my heart.”
I know we’re all tired and Christmas can be exhausting to think about. The amount of details can wear out any list-maker. I know our precious Savior’s birthday has been commercialized, paganized, and marginalized. I get it.
We have boycotted for a cause. We’ve stopped shopping and started making. We’ve had the traditional meal catered. We’ve left the extended family for a vacation. We’ve stopped decorating our houses since it’s just too much work with all we have going on.
I’ve stopped doing what was expected and focused on the meaningful.
I’m not sure why I waited until now to do this. I’m finally allowing myself to celebrate Jesus’s arrival as it fits me and not let others dictate the way it should look or when I put my tree up. Embracing Christmas early has truly been a gift and allows me to focus and share the beauty of this season with my daughter and hopefully others, without the panic.
I’m extending the time I have to refocus on that Holy Night and giving thanks right in middle for all the goodness God is and brings to my life. Grace to savor as long as I need to.
I want to encourage you to not dread this advent season but enjoy the beautiful adventure leading to THE miraculous day. Whether that’s starting in November or December.
How do you celebrate advent? Do you start before Thanksgiving? Do you have traditions that draw you closer to Jesus during such a busy holiday season?
I’d love to hear what works for you and your family as you prepare your hearts for Christ’s arrival.