I don't know about you, but I was almost able to get through this holiday season without participating in it at all. That was the plan-to all together ignore the Christmas season. It wasn't hard- I didn't go into any stores, I didn't listen to any music, I wasn't going to be able to see any family or dear loved ones...there was no Christmas tree, presents, Xmas card picture, snowmen, carols....none of it. And, much like the grinch, I thought that would keep Christmas from coming. Oh, I know that "Jesus is the reason for the season", but the traditions of Christmas, the culture of American December, the culture and traditions of my family...those were the things I was going to do without this year, and in doing so, decided I could forget about the whole holiday.
As it turns out, I couldn't.
I was cleaning the house when a knock came at the door. My "neighbors" , the Primary school, we're practicing Christmas carols to perform for the end of the year concert. The teacher couldn't remember all the words to "Oh Holy Night" and asked me to write them down. I sat down and started singing to myself, almost immediately lost in tears.
"long lay the world, in sin and error pining, till he appeared and the soul felt its worth....A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices..."
I'd forgotten that Christmas isn't about the traditions, the gifts, even the Christmas eve service...it's about remembering. And, I don't know about you, but I found that my soul, my heart, is doing okay without the gifts, the twinkle lights, the carols, and even the family traditions. But I need to remember. I need to be reminded that He came...he came because he loved. He came to save, he came to bring hope, he came to redeem. He came! Joy to the world, the Lord has come! That forever changes this world, and my life. And....I need, desperately, to be renewed by that truth.
Maybe you haven't been much in the Christmas mood. Maybe, like me, you've ignored the Christmas season this year, or maybe you've just begrudgingly participated. Maybe you've been crazily shopping and hanging mistletoe and baking Christmas tree sugar cookies. Maybe you've hosted numerous Christmas parties, have visited all your relatives, created the cutest shutterfly Christmas photos ever from a wonderfully unique idea you saw on pinterest.
All those things are fine...just ....remember to remember.