“in the twelfth month”
2 Kings 25:27
2014 is over, which of course means that December is over.
December is a great month, isn’t it? It’s marked by festivities and food and friends and family. F’s. December is apparently full of the letter F.
But it’s got lots of other wonderful letters, too, like C for celebrating and M for music. And it’s a mischievous month that feels like it should be in Winter when really most of it is in Autumn.
If you’re not careful, though, December can be a blur. Something to look back on rather than enjoy in the moment. But if you concentrate, you can do both. I did my darnedest to rejoice in each day of December, and now it’s time for an appreciative look back…
December was a wonderful balance this year, of the “norm” and the special. For the first several days we were living our normal routine, and then everything took a break so we ~ and everyone else ~ could concentrate on preparations for Christmas. So December was Bible study and hockey practice, and hockey games and school and work. And doctor appointments.
But then December became, well, all that December is.
December was the Christmas party for the Teen Bible study that the Apple of my Eye teaches. Great food, and fun games, and a few important reminders about the importance of Christmas.
December was also coffee with a friend. Well, tea and hot chocolate, actually. Neither of us drinks coffee. We used to see each other once a week at Bible study, but we aren’t in the same class this year and we’d been trying for several weeks to get together. We had a wonderful chat, and it was somehow very healing for me. The last time we talked, I was struggling with an issue, spiritually. Talking with her helped me to realize that that difficulty is behind me. It’s a good feeling.
December was also a Christmas party with some very old friends. Well, they’re no older than I am, but we’ve been friends for a really long time. Since High School. They were all at our wedding, and a few of them were in our wedding. But several of them we haven’t seen in years. Kids and distances and life do that sometimes. This year the couple that have moved across the country were back for a visit, and it was a great excuse to get together. The evening was a wonderful combination of conversations about old times, and new stories. A lot of laughter.
December was frequent surprises. Impromptu trips to see neighborhood lights, or to the local mall to appreciate the decorations, or ice skating.
And of course, December was Christmas itself. Traditional foods, like Eggs Benedict for Christmas Brunch. And of course our favorite cookies, bars, and my sister’s linzer torte. Giving gifts and getting gifts. Smiles, and laughter and thank you‘s being passed back and forth. Paper and bows and bags and such, and the lovely mess they create.
And then a trip to Texas to have Christmas all over again with the other side of the family. A bit of travel and adventure, new sights and sharing meals and conversation. Relaxing and rewarding all at the same time.
Christmas is a celebration. The Bible gives us only a few short paragraphs on the subject of Jesus’ birth. Two of the gospels don’t even mention that day. But the arrival of Christ on earth, as Man, is so momentous and earth-changing an event that it’s the biggest day of the year to many people.
And yes, it’s possible that some people, some times, lose focus, but I don’t think anybody loses it for long. It’s too hard, in December, to ignore the reminders of His birth; of His coming. We may not always have our priorities in order, but He can always get His message through to us. He did to me, even in the busy days of December, when I was concentrating on shopping and wrapping and baking and decorating. He was in every bit of the joy and family.
I am blessed.