Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Reason for the Season

Christmas time. The anticipation of giving and receiving awakened by the promise of snow, the warm glow of the fire, and the cozy evenings spent watching Christmas specials. No other season is this cookie cutter perfect...where we treasure togetherness, the love found in friendship, and the joy of spreading good cheer. Andy Williams knew what he was talking about - it really is the most wonderful time of the year.

On this December 24th, though, I am humbled. Perhaps it's just that I'm growing older and the thrill of Rudolph's inevitable arrival has lost it's appeal. Or maybe it's a result of those moments I've spent visiting the quiet places of my heart, visits that have opened my eyes to the power of compassion and the gift that is unending grace. I am humbled because I have so much and I take it for granted so often. While the world cries out for a helping hand, in desperate need of radical love, I'll sit down to a gorgeous dinner prepared by my parents - both of whom are crazy about each other. While others are barely scraping by, I'll laugh and play games with my brothers. The comfort I know is such a blessing.

I'm not suggesting that I need to become a martyr and give up the gingerbread men, the tinsel and lights, or the holiday songs I enjoy each year. It's more that for me, this Christmas is one full of unexpected surprises. And as I look around me, I'm realizing that if I take a fraction of the happiness and stability I experience during this season and share it with another, I'm capable of making a difference.

Life doesn't come neatly wrapped up in a pretty package with a nice bow on top...we deal with crappy circumstances at inconvenient times...we're challenged to make an impact when we feel that we have nothing left to give...fortunately, there's one who did come neatly wrapped up, albeit without the bow, and He is, as our culture has come to say, the reason for the season. So whether you're celebrating Christmas traditionally or striving to maintain some sense of control as your definition of holiday is altered, remember that there's hope. We find that hope in blessing others, staying true to ourselves, and by drawing near to those we cherish.

Merry Christmas :)