Every Christmas season I run around like a mad chicken trying to accomplish all the "tasks" that convention and tradition have established as the norm for the celebration. I'm not going to say I don't enjoy it since I do like the rush caused by the hustle and bustle of the preparations.
I remember growing up in Panama, my favorite day of the year was December 24th. And my favorite thing to do on that day was to go downtown to see my otherwise sleepy hometown become alive with last minute shoppers who made the business year worth while for the store owners. I loved it! The anticipation, the nervousness, the colorful lights, the decorations, the packed sidewalks, the traffic jams, the pushing and shoving...
In a way, I think that's why I go shopping on Black Friday...because it reminds me of that...minus the early drive in the freezing cold, of course : )
This year, however, everything is different.
The key word this Christmas season has been "simplification." The circumstances of my life during the last many months have made me slow down. The funny thing is that it is all happening without much thought from my part. It has not been planned at all. Things just haven't happened this year. My sons were not part of our church's pageant for the first time since they've been alive almost. We missed the church's Christmas dinner also for the first time ever. I just realized that I won't be sending Christmas cards either. Most of the kids' presents have been bought online and Dan and I have re-instated an old "tradition" we had of not buying gifts for each other. We held that tradition for several years when the kids first came and money was short. Baking cookies is still far in the horizon and it seems like it will mostly be made by third parties, like the place that makes the yummy frozen/pre-portioned dough from the school fundraiser earlier this year.
I have decorated the house, though, because our new home was begging me to dress it up with some Christmas cheer;and our Nativity set is looking cooler than ever! I love sitting in front of it to contemplate the different scenes we were able to create thanks to the generosity of our dear friend Judy who has been contributing to it for the past two years. But that's pretty much it. We have no grand plans other than to rediscover our Savior presence within our hearts and souls. My biggest desire, and where I am going to put my greatest effort is in seeking Him and praying He is re-born in me in an unmistakably visible and palpable way this Christmas.
Waiting for My Emmanuel is the only preparation I need. And the rush will be like no other I've ever experienced...it is just as simple as that!