I have a (perhaps unhealthy) obsession with Christmas. As I write this, I am listening to Louis Armstrong sing “Cool Yule.” I have not one but THREE Christmas stations on my Pandora radio station list, and I have been listening to Christmas music since about July–regularly since September. I taped a big snowflake to my computer screen yesterday, and contemplated taking out my red and green paper chain for decoration. I decided against it, as my desk is pretty central to the office. Don’t want to raise too many eyebrows.
My passion for the holiday season is so severe that I’ve taken a considerable amount of time to think about why I am this way over the past few years. I’ve discovered there’s just something about Christmastime. There is something pure, warm and delightful that surrounds the Christmas season that I constantly long for and can never quite describe.
The following is an email I wrote about a year ago this time to a friend who shares my deep love for the season:
I feel as though I write about this every single time I write you a letter or send you an email, but that is only because I know that you are the one person who truly understands my bizarre and pressing obsession with the wonder that is Christmas. I know I might eat my words about the weather, but right now I want nothing more than to watch the snow fall outside my window as I work and gaze into the cold night sky. I want to sit by a fire and forget that there is so much to do and so much begging for my attention. You know, I think my constant longing for Christmas has something to do with the peace and calm that it represents. There is no running around at Christmas. Ok, I know that’s not true; there are shopping and relative visiting and holiday parties to attend among other things. But on the best of Christmas nights, the house is warm, joy blankets every room, and sweet peace provides me with the invitation to just sit and soak it in. Every time I begin to get overwhelmed with life I run back to that beautiful place that is Christmas, remembering that there will again be a time that I can breathe and forget the numerous things that seem to tear life from my arms. I think what I’m really chasing after is (to borrow the old adage) the Christ that is found in Christmas.
The more I reflect on it, the more I realize the reason I burn to be near a fire with snow falling outside and family all around is indeed rooted in an innate desire for Christ, the Prince of Peace. Christmas feels like home. Christ feels like home. Christmas–to me–represents rest. Christ gives us rest. Christmas is about love. God is love. It’s all the “magic,” if you will, encompassing the birth of God into humanity. And I cannot get enough–no matter what month it is.
So indulge me. Take a minute to listen to your favorite carol, and reflect on Christ’s incarnation on the earth, when he left all that is good and pure and holy to dwell among all that is evil and tainted and sinful. Take a minute to rest in the immense promise God gave us by humbling himself on earth, not only coming here, but living to someday die for all of us. Reflect. Rest. Rejoice! You too might find we could all use a little more Christmas in our lives.