For me the Christmas countdown never started until halfway through the month. Sure, as a kid we did all of the traditional things – we made out Christmas lists, went to see Santa at the mall, open daily advent calendars, watched Christmas movies, sang carols, visited friends, went to parties. But in truth, Christmas couldn’t start for me until we had my birthday. I am a December baby…Dec 12 to be exact…and that means in the normal craziness of the busiest month of the year, I had to fit in a birthday as well.
My mom, understanding how crazy it is to try and plan a birthday party in December, would often celebrate my birthday a month early so that we could have a party. And yes, that meant I could start the Christmas countdown early, but really, it would never start for me until December 13…as soon as my celebration was done, we could celebrate the other stuff.
These days, I don’t anticipate my birthday with the same zeal as I did as a kid. Most days, I wish for it to pass without me having to endure singing waiters or wearing a sombrero on my head (and if you remember that, thanks for the memory). A dinner with family, Facebook wishes and maybe a lunch at work are about all I need these days. And so the countdown to Christmas starts a lot earlier.
Right around the time we start to see stores telling us that there are only XX days until Christmas, I start to feel the countdown pressure. How in the world am I going to get all of the presents bought, wrapped and delivered, cookies made, go to the parties and celebrations, sing the concerts, see the family, still get work done, and manage to “enjoy” the season? And how do I do all of that and still remember why we celebrate Christmas to begin with? I don’t exactly dread it, but it can become easy to be overwhelmed and make it a chore.
This year, I am using these blog posts to countdown…no more advent calendars…and a devotion to bring me back to the peace and joy I need to feel this holiday season. Now off to read the today’s devotion!