It doesn’t feel like Christmas. No, really. I’m not just talking about the “oh the year just flew by so quickly and I’m not ready for December” kind of not feeling like Christmas.
Just a few days ago it was 82 degrees outside, with a heat index of 88. EIGHTY EIGHT, my friends. Someone asked me why we don’t have ugly Christmas sweater parties around here. Um, need I say more?
And so we fake our way through it, with pretend snow and plastic evergreen trees in our living rooms. We walk under little white lights strung along palm tree fronds. We have a tree lighting downtown – with a Christmas tree carved out of sand. We wear holiday tee-shirts instead of the ugly sweaters. And we crank up the air conditioning so the cookies baking in the oven don’t melt us in the process. Nope. It doesn’t feel like Christmas, at least for those of us who grew up north of the Florida state line.
But what exactly SHOULD Christmas feel like?
I try to imagine the nip in the air, the scarves, the boots, the crunching snow in the parking lots of the shopping centers, the frost on the windowpanes, the crackling fires, the gifts stacked under the real Christmas trees with the real pine smell.
But if I’m going to be honest, that’s not what Christmas should feel like either.
The Bible doesn’t say, “And this shall be a sign unto you, when the temperature dips and the frost covers the ground, you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes…”.
Feeling like Christmas has absolutely nothing to do with the weather. Or the lights. Or the clothing.
Feeling like Christmas is a sense of expectation and longing and joy and celebration. It’s feeling like the best promise ever made to anyone ever before is about to be fulfilled.
Because it has.
In this season of Advent, I need to keep remembering that. I need to keep remembering that Christmas is not what the world has led me to believe it is. It’s so much more than temperatures and traditions. It’s about our rescue by a King who masqueraded as a baby so that He could fulfill the best promise ever made.
It may be 82 degrees outside, but I think it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:21-23
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6