Looking for Christmas?

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Photo courtesy of Jessica Peterson.

It used to be easier to see Christmas. We might see Santa in a store or two, but that’s not all the signs we’d see.

There used to be carolers. People who would brave the elements just to sing the all-familiar carols. I used to be among them.

And yes, stores were crowded. But shoppers sometimes held doors for other shoppers, they didn’t trample them on the way to a Black Friday sale.

The anticipation of a longed-for Christmas gift has been replaced by a list you’re expected to fill.

Placing your newly wrapped gifts under the tree you wonder if they’ll really like what you’ve chosen or will you get an obligatory “thank you.”

Christmas is still here

It’s just hidden sometimes, but that’s okay. While we’re told to have a Happy Holiday, we know it’s Christmas. No matter what they call it.

Children used to sing, “Away in a Manger” at school assemblies with smiling parents joining in, misty-eyed.

Listen carefully

We need selective hearing. We need to silence the noise and listen for the music.

In the distance, you may hear a mother humming a lullaby. She cradles the infant, holding him close. This baby is the King of Kings.

Did she care he was born in a stable? Perhaps her greatest care was the one all mothers have—that he would be okay.

Yes, you have to listen for Christmas.

For Christmas will come whether we anticipate it or not. No matter how we see it.

  • Yes! Christmas is here. I’ll have extra time off work.
  • Oh no. With Christmas coming, I’ll have extra work to do.
  • Yes. I get to see my family. 
  • Oh no. I have to see my family.

We’ll be pulled in many directions at Christmas.

There will be things vying for our attention, our approval, dare I say it? Even our money.

Be still

We won’t find Christmas in the chaos, nor in the malls. We won’t even find it at the many Christmas parties we’ll attend. Parties with too much food, too much drink. Too much everything.

No, we won’t find it there. But make no mistake, we will find it. We’ll find it in the quietness.

And if we hush ourselves within, we might hear angels rejoicing.

One year I wondered what Jesus thought about Christmas. And he told me:

Don’t Forget me

As you’re making preparations for the coming days ahead,
As you’re baking and you’re shopping, each night dropping into bed,
While you’re putting final touches on your almost perfect tree,
Would you take a precious moment, just to stop and think of me?

People make their celebrations, some are big ones—some are small,
I just find it disappointing they don’t think of me at all.
For it was so long ago, I was born one silent night
And my Father up in heaven, lit the sky with one great light.

As you celebrate this Christmas with your friends and family, 
Just remember—it’s my birthday, and your party is for me.

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10 thoughts on “Looking for Christmas?

  1. Lovely words Anne and I remember singing “Away in a Manger” too and sitting under the stars on christmas eve, the church use to take the service outside due to the crowds and the heat. We children loved the nativity scene they put on every year for us and imagined the baby jesus being born in a stable. Thanks for reminding me of the true meaning of christmas.

    Like

    • Kath,

      When I remembered that we actually sang some of those songs in a school setting, it was a sad reminder of how far the school systems have gone. I loved the idea of your church taking the services outside. Boy I bet that was nice. Thanks for reading, Kath.

      Like

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