Thursday, December 6, 2012

Waiting, Watching, Hoping

Christmas fatigue.

This is a special form of chronic illness that strikes me earlier, every year it seems.

This year, it began when I saw Halloween decorations in the stores in August. That then made me realize that it would only be about a month until Christmas decorations started going up.

I was wrong. It was only two weeks.

Yes, friends, I saw chocolate Christmas candy shaped like nutcrackers on the counters of my local 7-11 in September. That means that if you consider solving your Christmas candy jones actually nearer the Christmas season, you will be eating chocolate candy that's probably five months old after sitting out at room temperature that entire time.

But that, of course, is just trivia.

I welcome anyone to celebrate Christmas starting whenever they want. I personally do like observing Advent, though. It is nice to make ourselves wait, and watch, and hope in a time when I can get almost any book I want in ten seconds on my iPad, when we get impatient if a webpage loads less-than-instantaneously. This stepping-back-and-waiting is made all the more precious since I am singing in our church choir, so we have been singing Christmas music since October, I think. I am already beginning to loathe some of these songs, man, and it is not the songs' fault.

It is even more important to hope at this time of year. I personally go into a funk over the fact that it is dark at 5 pm, and so the candles on the Advent Wreath remind me that light can give hope to the darkest corners of our life, just as that Christ child is going to bring light to the world. This is something we can cling to in the cold winter months. This is something we can be grateful for at a time when gratitude gets drowned out.

Maybe I'll ease into it with a little "Vassourinhas" by Yo-Yo Ma.