This year many of us in America are receiving the Gift of Interruption for Christmas due to the wild winter weather we are having. Many have had to rearrange travel plans or reschedule gatherings due to the blizzard conditions and subzero temperatures. This is so frustrating! We really don’t like interruptions and after two years of having to regroup and change things due to the pandemic, we really don’t have the bandwidth or margin needed to regroup yet again.
But what if we could be willing to receive the interruptions this Christmas, as Gifts, rather than curses?
How can we be willing to let God surprise us this Christmas? Even in the interruptions or change in plans?
For many years, I worked on a church staff at Christmastime. This meant that often the tree was decorated later than planned, or cookies didn’t get baked til after the 25th. The church happened to be a very traditional Episcopal church where we didn’t really sing Christmas carols or decorate the church until Christmas Eve! This is because Advent is the season of the Church year that lasts until Christmas Eve. And the SEASON of CHRISTMAS begins on CHRISTMAS DAY, December 25! And since I was on staff and had to work Christmas Eve, our celebration really didn’t happen until Christmas Day and afterwards. We learned to receive the gift of the Season of Christmas.
And it really is a SEASON of the Church year, not just ONE DAY! You’ve probably sung the 12 Days of Christmas Song or at least heard it somewhere, well the 12 DAYS of Christmas are AFTER the 25th of December. The Christmas Season runs until January 6th which is Feast of Epiphany.
SO YOU ARE NOT LATE! YOU ARE NOT BEHIND! It is totally OK not to have everything ready or feel like you need more time! By embracing the SEASON of Christmas, you have 12 whole days to celebrate! Now you may not have all that time off from work, but give yourself the gift of doing Christmas over time rather than all at once this year. Write cards next week, deliver gifts as New Year’s presents or even for Epiphany or Three Kings Day!
Give yourself permission to celebrate the SEASON of Christmas!
What things can happen during the days after the 25th? Are you willing to let them?
And what about the Christmas spirit? maybe it’s been hard to embrace or engage in the holidays this year. That’s totally ok. Every year is different. We have seasons of our lives just as the calendar has seasons. Embrace the season you are in right now. It won’t be like this forever. We are all in different places so that will change how we celebrate and embrace the holiday. You are allowed to be sad at Christmas. It’s totally fine to choose to be alone rather than in a group if that is what feels best to you. Listen to yourself and what your heart needs this Christmas.
Find the things that bring you joy and do those things. Eliminate the things that bring you sadness or cause you anxiety or stress. ASK FOR HELP! Don’t try to do it all yourself this week!
I am going to watch “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” which always reminds me of the REAL reason for the season. And watch the old cartoon version of “The Grinch“because it makes me smile and our family have all the lines memorized. This morning I found the Amy Grant Christmas play list on I Tunes and listened to all her Christmas albums in a row!
MAKE A LIST of the things that bring you JOY and pick one to do each day.
TAKE TIME OUT and SLOW DOWN. EMBRACE the interruptions. OPEN THE GIFT of REST! BREATHE deeply.
TAKE TIME TO JUST BE WITH JESUS… HE came to be with YOU!To help you continue the Celebration, Join us on January 7th!
©lillylewin and freerangeworship.com