Hello, December! Looking good! Can I just say that I’m a huge fan? I mean, other than the colder temperatures, what’s not to like?!
December 1st we pull out the Advent calendar and hang it on our wall. Each day we move the yellow star from one pocket to the next, signifying that Christmas is one day closer. While for many Christmas brings greater stress as they rush around trying to “get everything done,” in my mind the significance of Christmas overshadows all that. Jesus is the reason for the season. If we focus on Him and reflect on why He came (Easter), we can rest in the peace He gives.
For four weeks leading up to December 25, we reflect on hope, peace, joy and love as we light the Advent candles each Sunday. Purple for royalty, pink for love, white for the purity of our Saviour, Emmanuel, “God with us.” How beautiful and warm are the lit candles. “How deep the Father’s love for us, so vast beyond all measure, that He would give His only son, to make a wretch His treasure.”
As far as the cold goes, I wouldn’t mind so much if I didn’t have Raynaud’s, a circulatory condition that leaves my fingers purple, yellow-white, and tingling, and if my husband didn’t have Rosacea, which is exacerbated by colder temps. More frigid weather brings fluffy white snowflakes which mean snowmen, snow angels, skating, skiing, hot chocolate, roaring fires, blankets.
If we didn’t have December, would we be so captivated by It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, The Nativity Story, A Christmas Carol, and other family-friendly Christmas movies? Would there be all the gatherings with friends and family with special foods, music, church services, Christkindl markets. The Christmas tree. People feeling more generous and charitable…? What about the tree-lighting ceremonies and holiday light displays in our city parks? Sleigh rides? Santa Claus parades and visits to Santa in the mall. While Santa has become a secular tradition, the original St Nicholas was certainly an emblem of Christian charity worth remembering. And who doesn’t love looking at photos of their children on Santa’s knee, even if Santa is a complete stranger?
You bring the year to an end, December. You remind us that whether we’ve had a good year or a bad one, there’s a new year coming, a blank slate. The past is dead and a future waiting to be lived. We can’t control the things that will come our way, but we can choose how we respond. As the snow covers the ground and allows it to rest, the hope of spring and renewal are present. What a great visual reminder of the newness we can experience spiritually, emotionally, mentally.
Hello, December. With open arms I welcome you.