I’ve never held hard and fast rules for when it’s appropriate to start Christmas festivities. This year, the boys were super into Halloween (more than ever before). But a flip switched in their minds and now it’s on to Christmas. Owen especially keeps longing for it to be winter. I will admit that Christmas brings a cheer, joy, hope to the world. I can understand how more than ever we are craving the goodness of Christmas.
Yesterday, I sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” to Owen and he had completely forgotten that he sang it last year at his Veterans Day assembly at school. At this time last year, Jeremy and I grabbed red cups from Starbucks and showed up at Owen’s school so we could listen to 600+ kids sing patriotic songs. This memory and the fact that he had forgotten it made me sad. There are moments where what we have lost this year are acutely felt in my spirit. No songs being learned for performances, no assemblies to attend. And then there are moments like today when Owen tells me that he wants to be homeschooled forever. I realize that he isn’t hurting or lacking in his school experience. We are good. For every sad moment, I have so many things to be thankful for. Which is why Thanksgiving matters more than ever to me. It’s a time to reflect on our journey and how God has been good every step of the way. On our ride into town today, I pointed out the beautiful trees for that feels like the millionth time. I am going to vocalize my thankfulness as often as possible. I don’t want to take any moment for granted.
Which leads to the holiday cheer we experienced today. Anyone who has known me for more than a year knows that “Red Cup Day” is a holiday in my book. Starbucks has only made the day more special by offering free reusable cups. My whole family was jazzed to get our free cups today. We listened to Christmas music as we went around town. When we came home from running errands, the boys put on new Christmas pajamas and Jeremy went outside to put up our Christmas lights on the house. I hopped on to my computer and the boys filled our Operation Christmas Child boxes online. I changed the sheets to flannel in preparation for the return of colder nights this coming week.
I’m here for it. All the holiday cheer. Bring it on. I’m all in for celebrating the November holidays. All our crafts this month involve turkeys and thankfulness. We will focus on Veterans Day as part of school. We will give Thanksgiving it’s proper time and attention. But we will also anticipate the coming season with joy. We will talk about Christmas and prepare for it.
We have space in our life for both – Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have space in our life for both the sad moments and the joyful moments. Good and bad can co-exist and God is still there with each up and down. I’m learning to live at peace with the tension. It reminds me what we haven’t arrived yet. We are still looking ahead to a fully redeemed creation. Owen recently got a Bible and has focused in on the New Heaven and New Earth – the time when everything will be made right. I need that reminder. This isn’t it. We were made for more – and it is coming! Joy to the world!