Christmas is my favorite time of year. Closely followed by Easter. Both religious holidays, both integral to Christianity. But I prefer Christmas, and I’ll tell you why, but first I want you to guess. It probably isn’t what you think.
Ok, did you guess? You have time, I mean it! I would rather have a dialogue than a lecture!
The reason I prefer Christmas is the lights.Well, the combination of lights, the cold, and the quiet all combined. When you are alone, in the living room, with only the Christmas lights on and everyone else is gone, is a Carthusian moment, a chance to contemplate. Add in if you are outside at night, and it’s snowing, and the lights are on, I love that. Add in beeswax candles and you have my vote and shut up and take my money!
We go big for Christmas, and I will also tell you we start early, to my mom’s chagrin. I know, advent first. And there is no skipping advent, to prepare for Christmas. BUT, the need for lights to brighten the darkening night are no longer needed AFTER Christmas, literally and figuratively. The light of the world is born, we have only to look to Him, AND the days are starting to get longer. Therefore, the need to light a candle in the darkness is gone.
In a real Catholic sense, we can combine Christmas carols and advent, a lit tree with sacrificial preparation. If we allow the carols and lights to draw us in to the reason we have a holiday to begin with. If we allow the darkness to surround us, combating it with the light symbolizing our hope, and not focusing on buying stuff, and preparing meals, then I think it can be quite a fruitful and peaceful season, even one we look forward to.
I said recently how I cry when I hear Silent Night. It’s my favorite, and imagine the silence, the stillness, and the soft light of Christ being born. Got it? Welcome to my brain!
This year is bittersweet for me, it’s the first year I can’t help decorate. I usually do THE LIGHTS if you can imagine it, inside and out. This year I’m in the way. But I am so happy to hear my lovely Mel and kids, Jack, Grace, Kate, and Luke, putting up the decorations. Perhaps I’m sentimental in my old age, I don’t care! Light up the night, fear no darkness for the Light has come. And hug your family!
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.