You know the old song, “It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” I am still waiting for that holiday feeling to descend upon me. This Christmas season feels different somehow. Is it just me, or do others share that feeling? It could just be me.
I have had my share of personal issues these last couple of months, topped off with five days of severe dental pain this week (ouch!). Nothing like a toothache to put you in the holiday spirit! Thank God for dentists! None of my problems have been anything too serious, but they certainly colored the last several weeks for me.
I think it started when we decided not drive to Pittsburgh to visit my daughter for Thanksgiving – an event that always marked the unofficial beginning of our holiday preparations. I did not make a Christmas wreath for my front door this year - for the first time this decade. We did not attend the Baptist minister’s Christmas party.
Apparently while cleaning up after last year’s Christmas, I accidently threw out our beautiful evergreen garland that we use to decorate the living room. So our house does not look the same. And my Christmas shopping was done almost entirely online. Clicking a mouse just does not feel like Christmas shopping.
Furthermore we are not planning a big Christmas dinner this year. Our sons and their families are coming to our house for Christmas day (yeah!), but it will not be the feast that it normally is. That means no creamed onions. Sigh. Hopefully there will still be Indian pudding! I am putting in a special request to Mrs. Claus.
Then of course the impeachment of Donald Trump has dominated the headlines and airwaves this holiday season. That has put a damper on festive merrymaking for many people. Although House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the final impeachment vote put a “spring in her step.” Not for me. I am no Trumper, but the whole impeachment process only makes me sad.
In taking sides on this divisive political issue, Christian leaders are saying the most unchristian things and defending very unchristian behavior. The whole spectacle is unfortunate in its timing. It is not a good advertisement for the “reason for the season,” the celebration of the birth of Christ. It is no wonder that younger generations are distrustful of Christianity and church attendance has dropped to its lowest level since data has been collected.
For all these reasons and more, I have not been feeling very Christmasy. So I am trying to do alternative spiritual activities during these final days before Christmas. I am planning to attend the Global Silent Minute for global cooperation, peace and freedom at the North Sandwich Friends Meeting today. I am also hoping to attend the Blue Christmas Service at the Community Church of Sandwich on Sunday afternoon.
Then on Christmas Eve we will make our annual pilgrimage to Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church in Concord to watch our oldest grandson in the Children’s Christmas Pageant. This year he is Joseph! I am a proud preacher/grandpa. When Christmas Day dawns I plan to be eating monkey bread, opening presents, and reading the biblical Christmas story with my beloved. By then I am hoping it feels a lot more like Christmas.