I did it again. Each year I say that I am going to clear my calendar out between Thanksgiving and Christmas and just enjoy the season. I make plans to savor every moment and live life a little slower. Then reality hits and this time for reflection, worship and family becomes one of the most hectic times of the year with a packed calendar. I get caught up in all that is going on and soon I blink and look at the calendar and it is the week of Christmas.
I think Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. It is the day we remember Jesus’ birth and that alone should make it one of our favorite days. Too often I think we lose sight of that and it is minimized in this time of political correctness. If you view Christmas as just another holiday and a reason to buy presents then that is your right and your perspective. However, to me, the day has a much deeper religious meaning and that is my right to celebrate Christmas.
I enjoy many other things about the Christmas Season. I must admit I really enjoy Christmas music. Yes, this is the only time of the year when you might catch my radio not being tuned to talk radio. I have heard many people Bah Humbug the all Christmas music stations. Not me, as soon as Thanksgiving is over (but not before) my radio dial is tuned to one of those stations and I will be singing along as I feed the cows (that might be why they go off of feed this time of the year).
I also enjoy all of the Christmas decorations and lights. Although I must admit that I do not like putting them up or taking them down. If it were not for my wife, I would be one of those people who would leave the lights up year round. I enjoy driving around and looking at the lights others have put up and one of our family traditions is to drive through the Christmas lights in Lemon Park in Pratt. If you have never been there, it is worth the drive.
Another one of my favorite things this time of the year is to either get up early or stay up after everyone else has gone to bed and admire the Christmas tree. I like to turn the lights on, get a hot cup of coffee and just sit and bask in the glow of the lights. There is something soothing about it. I do miss the smell of a live cedar tree and that would add to the experience, but allergies and the fear of a dried out tree necessitate a fake tree.
Of course there is always the food. You probably never would have guessed by looking at me that I enjoy food (a little more white in my beard and I could be Santa Claus). From the candies and cookies to the great meals hosted by friends and family, I just can’t help myself and often I add pounds to the memories from Christmas past.
However, the one thing that makes Christmas the best is being around friends and family. Each year right before or right after Christmas, I sit in my chair, with the Christmas tree lights on and read all of our Christmas cards at once. I really enjoy hearing from friends and reading about their lives. I know many make fun of Christmas letter, but I truly enjoy them.
Christmas cards and letters are great but they are not as good as seeing friends and family in person. When we gather during the holidays and visit, I often wonder why we do not get together more often. I know it is because we all lead such hectic lives with full calendars and I suppose it is a little sad that we need special occasions to find time to be with friends and family. That being said don’t sweat it and enjoy each moment during this Christmas season spent with those closest to you.
I know the clock is rapidly winding down on this Christmas season and I am sitting next to the tree, cup of coffee in hand as I write this column. My Christmas wish for you is that you take a moment to relax, reflect and remember what is most important to you during this busy time. Remember it isn’t about presents, shopping or anything commercial. Christmas is a time of worship, family and memories. Merry Christmas to you and your family.