I used to fear the fights, and now I embrace the family time. I used to dislike sweets, and now I shove sugar cookies in my face. I used to snub my nose at cheesy traditions, and now I create my own. I used to cringe at the scents, and now I fill my house with cinnamon pine cones. I used to avoid red and green, and now I love plaid. With gold. I used to refuse the tunes until after Thanksgiving, and now… I still refuse the tunes until after Thanksgiving. But then it’s fair game, 24/7. Over the years, the Scrooge in me has softened up. I recently wrote this in an Instagram post, but it feels right here, too…
It’s easy to get caught up in the prep work, but I’m trying to slow it down. This is like a wedding. I don’t want to be about the day, the presents, the food, and the emotional let-down. I want to to be about the anticipation, the excitement, and the joy. All season long.
I’ve spoken often of learning to live in the moment, but there is so much importance to be found in anticipation. The expectation of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us… that is what Christmas is about. The anticipation that Mary felt, after that visit from an angel. The anticipation that Joseph felt, as his wife labored and he searched for a place late that night. The anticipation that the shepherds and wisemen felt, as they relentlessly searched for that baby. The gospels are absolutely dripping with anticipation.
Maybe I speak for myself alone, but I feel like grown-ups aren’t really great at this. We’ve made an art of a cool composure, and it’s a shame. The breath that catches, the butterflies that flutter, the goosebumps that crawl. We still have a few days before the 25th. Anticipation, y’all. Let’s get it back.