Every year, I have the same lament. I almost didn’t say anything this year, but now I’m even being affected by the situation. It is still a few days before Thanksgiving. I have not made our family’s Thanksgiving foods yet. My porch has pumpkins on it. Inside my house there are turkeys and signs reminding me to be “thankful in all things.” And guess what? I feel behind.
I’m behind because there are no Christmas lights on our house like all our neighbors seems to have; there are no red and green wreaths on our door. I feel behind because our Christmas stuff is still in the attic. There’s even a word for it now, “Christmas Creep.” I will not even speak of the stores having Christmas before Halloween complete with Christmas music.
I think I’m catching it. In my stress and hurry to get it all done, I wondered aloud, in front of our 17 year old son, if we should decorate for Christmas before we left for Thanksgiving. He actually grabbed my shoulders and shook me, saying, “Who are you and what have they done with my mother?”
He saved me. He woke me up. So I’m going to say it once again to myself and whoever will listen. Just wait.
I love the book Margin by Dr. Richard Swenson. He writes about how we have allowed our lives to become margin-less: in our time, in our money, in our overload. He doesn’t write about Christmas but I believe we have also destroyed the margin between seasons. If society had it’s way, baby Jesus would be born in early October and off to college by January. Stop. Just wait.
Can we not just be pregnant for awhile? There is a reason for gestation. Good things need time to grow. We are supposed to wait for the seed of new life to grow and be big enough and developed enough to be born healthy.
In the church, we do plenty of things wrong, but one thing we get sort of right is the waiting. This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent. We don’t call it Christmas because the baby has not been born. We wait. We watch. We will light just one candle. I know, it is a ridiculously simple decoration. One blue candle? Yes. We will read scripture about God doing a new thing. We are going to watch, wait and see what might grow. It’s okay to just be pregnant.