This morning...this day-after-Thanksgiving morn...Annie and I snuggled together, both of us positively gleeful that there was no reason in the world we had to leave the warmth of the covers and venture into the very wet, very cold day outside.
In fact, as I type these words I am still happily outfitted in my pajamas (if pajamas can be considered an "outfit"). What?! Perhaps it is 1:00 in the afternoon and perhaps I did just eat lunch- a most delicious turkey/stuffing/cranberry sauce sandwich- all while in my pajamas. Why do you ask? Whatever...there are no hidden cameras here....All of you who were showered, dressed and made-up by 8am this morning can just take your judgment elsewhere. I have no regrets and even less shame. (I could stand a smidge more vanity though as I have seriously considered venturing out in my current attire but have been cautioned against doing so by certain members of my family. Some people are so fussy).
Anyhow, back to that cozy memory from this morning. While I enjoyed a few extra minutes of pillow time, Annie played on the ipad and ended up pulling up the Charlie Brown Christmas app. It is essentially a narrated storybook with a few small activities thrown in. I've been pleased by how much she enjoys this app given its simplicity. She really seems to just enjoy hearing the story over and over again.
I closed my eyes and listened to the familiar words of Charlie Brown lamenting the commercialization of Christmas. I smiled as Lucy tells him he needs to "get involved" with something, thus cornering him into directing the Christmas play.
What a lovely thought...I mused...a group of children who set about organizing, writing, directing and performing their own Christmas pageant, with no adult in sight. I wondered how that would turn out if I were to turn loose my band of kiddos at church to organize themselves?
Annie asked why I was laughing to myself.
And then came that unforgettable moment when Charlie Brown cracks (I'm hoping not to have a similar moment myself during our pageant rehearsals...) and cries out to no one in particular:
Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!?
And Linus, sweet Linus... always ready with a historical anecdote or timely quote, all with blankie in hand...gives his unflappable answer:
Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.
Not gonna lie...I felt myself choke up for just a second when I heard those words. And Annie and I cuddled even closer as we listened to Linus recite what must be some of the most familiar verses in all the Bible.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them, and they were sore afraid. And the Angel said to them, Fear not: For behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men.
That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Advent begins in just a matter of days, which means Christmas is on its way.
I understand all of the reasons people lament the commercialization of Christmas and get overwhelmed by too many activities and expectations. I understand... I do. I am also deeply aware that for many people this is not the most wonderful time of the year. I've had those seasons, those Decembers when I wished I could erase the whole shebang from the calendar so I wouldn't have to spend days on end pretending to be interested in celebrating when what I really wanted to do was stay home avoiding anything that hinted of Christmas.
If that is you this year, then know you have my heart, my prayers and my wishes for peace. I've been there...
But this year... still basking in the thankfulness glow from yesterday, I was so incredibly grateful this morning for the almost giddy anticipation I felt for the weeks ahead. Perhaps because I know how it is to feel otherwise and I know how much my 7 year old needs me to join her in her excitement over all of the wondrous expectation contained in the season of Advent, followed by the JOY of Christmas morning.
This year, I'm right there with her.
Annie asked me this morning, her voice plaintive and cautiously hopeful, Mommy, when can we start decorating?
I pretended to be deep in thought, weighed down by the gravity of her question.
Oh, the boxes...oh, the mess...oh, the clutter...Christmas!...Bah humbug.
Then I smiled and squeezed her tight and asked:
How about today!!
Advent may not officially begin for another week... but I say,
Bring it on!