Well here it is Wednesday morning and I have exactly one present bought. I have less reason to not have all my Christmas shopping done than just about anyone, but as usual I’ll wait till I can’t wait any longer. I figured it up last night; starting Friday we have something to do, just about every day and every night till Wednesday of next week, and the list keeps getting bigger. Between family, friends and church, I’m going to be turning into a social butterfly. Don’t laugh! But I’m not the only one, I bet most of you out there will be glad when Christmas is over with altogether, if for no other reason than for things to slow down a bit. The only thing is if it wasn’t for Christmas, most of us would wind up sitting in the house staring at each other, like we do the other 51 weeks a year.
Tell me I’m not telling the truth, but you know you can’t. There is something about this time of year, even the most cynical of us all can feel it, it almost like electricity flowing through the air, something good is going to happen soon. Maybe it’s the smell of the trees, or the tinkling of the bulbs on the Christmas tree, but somehow it keeps you on your toes for the whole month of December.
I think it goes back to our youth, when believing in dragons and goblins and all other kinds of spooky stuff were under our beds. But there was a set time each year we put all that other stuff out of our minds, no, we were too busy, trying — even if it was a short time — to see if we could actually be good. I don’t mean we were bad or anything, but just on the off chance our behavior wasn’t up to snuff, we didn’t want to push our luck. How many times, do you remember hearing, ”Alright now, if you keep that up Santa’s not going to come.” That was the Kiss of Death around our house.
No Santa Claus? But he just had to come! We had made so many plans about how we were going to play with our new toys. We had already figured out where we going to ride the new bikes, how many times we were going to play cowboys and Indians every day, and even the clothes, how we were going to get out of wearing them. No Santa Claus? That was inconceivable!!
I mean here we have spent the last month staring at the gifts that were under the tree already, would they disappear if we weren’t on our best behavior? And I think that as adults, even though to some of us the Spirit of Santa has dimmed some, we still have a spark left. The wonder of it never leaves us. Even with all the hustle and bustle, we all still wake up on Christmas morning with the anticipation of what has been left under the tree; even though now we have to share it through the eyes of our children.
I wonder if two thousand years ago they felt the same thing? I wonder if the people surrounding Bethlehem felt the electricity in the air, that something wondrous was happening, but they couldn’t put their finger on it? Think how those shepherds must have felt, on that long cold night, when out of a clear night the Angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the he spoke:
“Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
I sometimes wonder if the excitement of the shepherds at that moment is what has been passed down to us. Like a shock wave that has rolled down through history. And even all the distractions of the holidays we have devised cannot seem to dispel it. With the parties and gifts and all the other holiday rituals we have, there is an excitement in the air of so much more. Then we realize what it is we have been given, the greatest gift we will ever have,
The gift of Life.
Merry Christmas from the Bruce’s.
You can reach Robbin Bruce by e-mail at email@example.com.
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