It seems that this holiday has been going on since October, and if you’ve been in some stores, you have, indeed, seen holiday decorations up quite early. Hallmark traditionally celebrates Christmas in July and most stores begin to mingle the holiday goods with Halloween. Selfridges, a major London department store, opened its celebration on July 29th! That’s 149 days before Christmas. Wikipedia has a name for this – it is called the Christmas Creep.
We can easily get lost when we start to ‘anticipate’ 149 days in advance. Many people start the rush the day after Thanksgiving with Black Friday (so named as it is one of the few times a year that most stores run in the black instead of the red!). The worrying aspect of this is that we can spend weeks or months in great anticipation for a particular day but forget to live in the moment. We can lose sight of that which is important and needs our attention, namely family, loved ones, and our own health and well-being. If we live through a few months every year just anticipating the arrival of Christmas I’m afraid we run the risk of spending up to ¼ of every year focused on ONE day instead of focusing on every day.
Each day is a gift, and it is unwrapped every morning when we open our eyes. We wake and rise, and instead of running through the day in anticipation of what is to come several days, weeks, or months down the road – how much MORE could we get out of life if we focused on the NOW, the CURRENT, the day that has been gifted to us as TODAY?
John the Baptist begins the Christmas story with his declaration to “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!” (Mark 1:3) He was not telling us to grab the lights and put them up and to start stuffing our shopping bags. His message to us is to take every day and focus on what is important – faith, family, and service to others. He was reminding us that, although preparation is critical, what is important is the PROCESS of preparing and that process starts TODAY.
May this Advent season be one where you spend every day unwrapping the gift called TODAY, and that your eyes are opened to the wonders and joys around you. Reach those who need reaching, teach those who need teaching, give to those who are needy, and love everyone. Wake up every day discovering your Awesomeness!!