One of the great "tragedies," if you will, of the Christmas season is that we get so caught up in the shopping and the decorating and the various holiday parties we feel obliged to attend that the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas become overloaded with stress and lengthy to-do lists - when the whole point of the season is to slow down...celebrate with family and friends a festive occasion...and be grateful for the gifts that truly matter: loved ones and treasured relationships.
In the Catholic Church, the Sunday after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of Advent, which means ---- waiting. Waiting in joyful hope for the coming of the Christ Child.
But how often during these hectic days of December do we quietly wait?
One of the best memories of my childhood was those December days when I'd come home from school/basketball practice or come in from a long day of doing chores to a darkened living room with the Christmas tree lit up. Often, I'd go in there and just sit for a while...in the darkness....in the stillness......and gaze upon the tree.
I still like to do that, here in Wichita or out at the family farm if I'm out there prior to Christmas. It's a reminder to slow down --- and remember what it is we're truly celebrating.