Yep, Christmas is here. I used to think all the hoopla was the wind-up-and-get-ready for The Big Thing on December 25, but now that age and wisdom has superceded youth and ignorance, I realize Christmas is a thing that lasts a full and solid month. It’s not a single day one winds up for, it’s a whole long event filled with singing and worship and parties and fun. It hit hard last Thursday, when #4’s school had their annual Christmas concert. 150 kids, ages 7 to 18, singing sacred songs and ringing bells, all spiffy with combed hair and ties and bows.
I remember a “Winter Celebration” from many years ago (this was at a Very Politically Correct Public School thus no songs of a religious nature were sung). The school was in South Alabama, and the music teacher had the kids singing a dumb little ditty called Snow Pants. In South Alabama. Most of these kids had never even seen snow, let alone knew what snow pants were. The song was all about how cold it was and how important it was to dress appropriately for the weather. That day, it was 75F and sunny. It would have been more appropriate to sing something by Jimmy Buffet about Christmas in Key West. Even though I understood her desire to be Unoffensive (Inoffensive?) given the mix of cultures she was trying to represent in her choice of songs, I remember thinking how much I’d prefer a solid program of We Three Kings and O Holy Night.
And by golly, that’s what happened at the program last Thursday. As the kids were on the stage, all 150 of them together for the final song, the thought hit me that Christmas really is happening NOW. It’s not preparation for The Big Day. It’s a month of celebration, recognition that God came to Earth as a Man, and because of that, we are able to have a relationship with Him. A real relationship, not one based on worrying if He approves or if I’ve done enough to curry favor with Him, but one based on mutual love and affection and a profound sense of gratitude that He was willing to come down off His throne and be one of us for a while.
and THAT is worth celebrating!
*I have more to say about Christmas, but that will come later.