Awaiting Christmas


When I was younger, I remember waking up on Christmas morning in the pajamas I had opened the night before. It always started by listening to Dad read about Christ’s birth in Luke 2 while also eyeing our stockings and the presents that seemed to multiply overnight. The anticipation for Christmas day was unbearable! What would we get? What would we get to play with? It was exciting, mysterious, and joyful.
When you’re a child, you await Christmas morning because you know that you’re going to experience the joy of something tangible. You’ve seen the commercials and the toys that your friends already have that you want, and you wait ever so hopefully that your family remembered. You rip into the presents that took hours to plan, buy, and wrap, and you squeal with excitement, because you just got the coolest gift ever! The waiting was worth it, and the joy is incomparable.
As I have gotten older, our traditions have not changed much. We still wake up in the pajamas we opened the night before (in recent years, they have been matching pj’s). We stumble out into the living room excited with sleep still in our eyes. Rather than it being 6am like when we were young, it’s 8 or 8:30. We make our coffee and find our spots on the couch and debate who gets to read what verses in Luke 2 this year. We then pass Dad’s Bible around taking turns reading the story of Christ’s birth, and then it’s gift time.
As an adult, the excitement of waiting to open gifts is still there (I am a gifts person, so it makes sense), but now there are new things I wait for and look forward to. Now, I wait to see what part of the Christmas story is going to impact me that particular year. Now, I wait to see how my siblings or parents react to the gifts that I picked out for them that year, and now I wait for the family time that follows the morning’s activities. As I have gotten older, I no longer want to be just a receiver but also a giver and contributor.
I think this is similar to how we should be in our faith. When we are younger, we await the things that are tangible and more finite. But as we get older, we begin to see that there is a little more to life than the things we can receive and touch. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”. We start to see that instead of gifts, cookies, and cousins, we wait on the memories that are to be made, the relationships that can be mended, the people we miss, the smiles on people’s faces, and the story of a baby who was born in a manger who became the Savior of the world. We no longer only wait and hope for the tangible things of this world, but we wait and hope for the things that are unseen and eternal.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

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