By LISA BICKNELL
CV&T News Editor
December is a busy, busy, month.
From one end to the other, it’s crammed with items to check off our to-do list, tasks meant to maintain those treasured Christmas traditions.
For children, these traditions just magically happen.
The decorating gets done so the house is festive and cozy, the presents get bought and wrapped, the turkeys and hams are baked, the cookies and bourbon balls get made, and the cards get sent.
Christmas season is therefore a lot of work-for somebody.
Thankfully, the festivities are spread out over a period of weeks.
That’s why I’ve come to look at Christmas as a season, not a deadline, and I’m learning to appreciate each step along the journey.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to lose sight of the original humble message of Christmas amid all the bustle and lights.
But, during this last week or so leading up to Christmas, I’ve had a little more time to refocus.
By now, many of us have our shopping and decorating done (hopefully), and the Christmas plays, cantatas, hanging of the greens in churches, etc., take center stage to remind us of what Christmas is all about.
Amy Grant sings one of my favorite modern holiday songs. Called “Emmanuel,” the song reminds us that “God is with us.”
Sometimes, if we are honest, we have to admit it doesn’t look much like God is with us. Just consider the fires raging in California, the terrible hurricanes that obliterated whole neighborhoods this year. So many people aren’t enjoying a cozy Christmas; they’ve been displaced from everything familiar to them.
Tragedy can cause folks to become skeptical that God even exists. But time after time, people who seem to have nothing left seem full of gratitude for all that they have. How can that be?
Maybe they know that sometimes all there is left is Emmanuel, and that is enough to get us through, particularly when He shows up with skin on and wearing work boots.
The helpers. Look for the helpers, some say, in the midst of tragedies. That’s where you will see God.
First responders, medical professionals, clergy, neighbors, family. Imagine life’s rocky spots without these people.
“Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace… Emmanuel…” the song goes. Ready to help us overcome, even in unimaginable tragedy.
And for that, we can sing “Joy to the World!”
I sincerely wish for you and yours a peaceful and hope-filled Christmas this year.