Looking Past Christmas

Dec 24, 2002

I’ve had a bit of trouble catching on to the Christmas spirit
this year. It has come and went and returned again. It didn’t
really grab hold of me until just last week.

Latching on to that spirit is normally a lot easier. The wife
starts the Christmas tunes just after Halloween. Just
watching the sugar plums dance around her head can right
the most downtrodden soul.

However, my soul isn’t the problem. Neither is the little
Scrooge or Grinch that can hide in us all. It’s not like
I don’t have the time to pause and smell the milk and cookies.
It’s that Christmas just hasn’t been my focus.
After all, for the wife and I, the big event of this year doesn’t
really happen until next. December, a month normally
reserved for shopping frenzies and Christmas wishes, has
been filled with child planning and baby dreams.

Decorating the inside of the house took us a while to finish.
The twinkling lights that line the outside of the house didn’t
get put up until just last weekend. I’ve been dragging my
feet through a combination of laziness and bad weather
(snow one week and rain the next didn’t exactly encourage
me to pull the ladder up to the side of the house).
All eyes were ahead.

All of a sudden Christmas has arrived. Even though I was a bit
late, I jumped on the train just before it pulled into
the station. Last weekend, we were able to spend some time
with family. I got to visit with my sister, see my father,
and hug my mother (ok, I may have given good old dad a hug too).

I’ll soon be preparing to head out to church for a better
reminder of that small child cooing in a manger, wrapped in
swaddling clothes; a King in the making who is truly a
reason to celebrate.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up early, grab some coffee, and
tear into that stack of presents under the tree. As I do,
I won’t be able to resist thinking about just how different
this will be next year.

It’s funny. The very thing that has me looking past Christmas
is one of the best Christmas presents I can imagine, even
if I have to wait until January to open it.

Oh, and Jesus, Happy Birthday!

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