It Creeps Up on You

It does not feel like Christmas is a few days away. Or perhaps to state it more accurately, I don’t feel like Christmas is a few days away.

The trouble with this time of year is that every song, every scene on TV casts an expectation upon how you should feel. You are supposed to be full of Christmas spirit. From the perspective of faith, I have always equated that with experiencing this awe at the Incarnation.

At the beginning of Advent, I wrote about that for which I hoped. Part of that was to experience Advent in a very real way. That didn’t happen. The end of the semester, moving into a new house falling through at the eleventh hour, and the spring-like temperatures of the last week have me feeling like we should not be getting ready to celebrate Christ’s birth.

I’m Charlie Brown at the beginning. I need a Linus to snap me back to what Christmas is all about. Part of me is trying to force myself to feel Christmassy. It’s worried if I don’t feel it soon, then I’ll miss this whole time of year. But you can’t force yourself to feel Christmassy anymore than you can force yourself to fall in love.

Of course, the point of this time of year is not a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s a nice byproduct to be sure, but it is not what this time of year is all about.

I hope that I can grasp the beginning of the story. I hope that I can appreciate what it meant for Jesus to be born as a baby. More than a seasonal feeling, that is what I want to creep up on me. I want that to dawn on me anew. I want to remember that and say to myself, “That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.”

The Wonder and the Fright of the Start

Community and Christmas as Public Domain