I’m a slow burn when it comes to the holidays. By December 24th I usually have slung myself into the Christmas spirit, but it takes that long. My husband affectionately calls me “Victoria Scrooge” during this time of the year. For me, Christmas is linked to a handful of memories that aren’t very merry and bright. I find it difficult to go all in, and hold my heart at a distance. Dearly wanting to stand close to the fireplace, but afraid I’ll get burned.
Because it takes the entire month of December for me to warm up to the idea of Christmas, I usually savor the day – and promptly feel lost on the 26th.
But this December 26th, I don’t feel lost at all.
Almost like Ebeneezer, I feel stirrings of how future Christmases could be.
Knowing Ben and I have a parental duty to make Christmas magic happen for our little girl, and we pray her siblings to come, both terrifies and excites me. It terrifies me because I’m afraid I’ll chuck all of my baggage onto her. It excites me because as she unwraps Christmas for herself, I’ll be unwrapping it anew.
Watching Carson interact with her first Christmas pushed me forward. It pushed me to dream about ways I can cast my cynicism aside and make Christmas a special time for her. Advent wreaths and Christmas crafting and tree decorating and cookie baking and caroling. (Probably not Elf on The Shelf, but that’s another story.)
Christmastime is nostalgic. We sing songs about the “glories of Christmases long, long ago.” But what if the point of Christmas is not to look back, but to look forward?
Advent comes in two parts: already and not yet. Already Christ has come, not yet has he returned. By holding ourselves in this tension, we focus better on the here. Namely, that God is here with us. That is the greatest Christmas present. We. get. God!
We look forward to life made available in Christ. We look forward the work God has given to us. We look forward to the kingdom of Heaven growing. We look forward to the day when Christ will make all things right.
And that’s something to reflect on.