We are heading into the stretch, the week leading up to Christmas Day. How are you at waiting things out? Is there anticipation in the waiting? Are you anticipating the joy of getting together with loved ones? The excitement of Christmas morning?
How do you fare during the holiday season? This last week is usually busy. I’m usually running around trying to do last minute shopping, wrapping and cooking. But all these things bring me joy because I know my efforts will bring joy to others, which then in turn brings joy to me.
I remember my children and how eagerly they awaited Christmas. They looked forward to seeing all the lights and the presents that awaited them on Christmas morning. Don’t you just want to feel that excitement and anticipation just like a child again? I remember my young daughter didn’t have the patience and one year, carefully untaped and re-taped the beautifully wrapped presents to peek at her gifts before Christmas Day. That only happened once, because the excitement on Christmas Day had diminished cause she already knew what she was getting.
The holidays can also be a time of great sadness for some. Missing loved ones who aren’t here or not having money for gifts, etc. There are any number of reasons for sadness during the holidays, but basically, I think it’s really just about change. Some people don’t like change and have a hard time learning to adapt.
But friends, life is all about change. No two days are exactly the same even though we have our routines. We need to learn to adjust and go with the flow. We need to anticipate and embrace change and be joyful in it. As much as we hate to admit it, we are not in complete control. As we age, we understand this concept.
Remember when you were expecting your first child? The anticipation was unbearable at times. Hoping that the child would have all ten fingers and toes and that there would be no complications during delivery. Remember the week or two right before you were due? Not being able to get comfortable. –The kicks, the heartburn and not being able to bend down to tie your own shoes? We were done already! But, oh the joy, the inexplicable joy of seeing and feeling that newborn touch your skin brought tears to your eyes.
As we head into the final stretch of Advent, let us patiently wait and anticipate something bigger than ourselves: the coming of Christ. Don’t just recreate the history of it, but anticipate His future coming as well. This week, try not to get all caught up in the commercialism and materialism of Christmas. But focus on the real meaning of Christmas. Cut back on the amount of buying and decorating and the “doing” and just anticipate the birth of the Savior of the world. There’s where the real joy lies.
Spread Joy and Cheerfulness
- Read the story of Jesus’s birth in the Bible in the Gospel of Luke 2:1-20 to your children and grandchildren. Unwrap this gift of love and unspeakable joy that He brings to the world. This is a time of great joy.
- Get out and go places. Visit with someone who is homebound. Spend time with family and friends.
- Be generous with your time, your money and your talent. Give to those who are in need.
- Remember your loved ones who have passed away with joy not sadness. Pull out those family videos and photo books. Share the joy they brought to your life. What would they say to you about your sadness? Honor them by sharing and carrying on their traditions that brought joy to your life.
Jesus Is the Gift
My prayer for all of you this Christmas is that you anticipate the coming of Jesus this Christmas. Realize that He is the “Ultimate Gift”. The anticipation and the waiting is all about His return. He came that we might have a life to live to the fullest that will give Him honor and glory.
So gather your loved ones and hold them close. Anticipate Christ in your waiting for Christmas Day!
May God bless you all with joy and cheer as we head into another year. Let’s make it the best one yet! Thanks for following along. I appreciate you. –Barb