Outside of the essential groceries, I would rather drink a gallon of milk and go on a roller coaster ride than have to go shopping (especially when it comes to the mall). There is something that has been fused into my DNA that prevents me from shopping without developing migraines, frustration, and the gout (ok maybe not the gout). That makes this time of the year particularly difficult. With so many gifts to buy for my friends and family, holiday shopping reaches a new level of pain (like going from a normal wedgy to an atomic one).
There are some things in life that are particularly difficult for me to deal with. It is hard for me to see the Cardinals outperform my beloved Cubbies year after year. It is difficult to hear my strange alien voice on a recording device. And it is downright painful for me to go shopping.
This is not only painful for me, but this becomes a real difficult circumstance for my wife who must drag me through the stores like a petulant child with the promises of ice cream and candy if I am good. Not only am I of no help at shopping, but my present wrapping skills are inept, and my hand writing for Christmas cards is legible only to highly trained graphologist ninjas. When it comes to Christmas I am hopeless.
It is amazing to think about all the things we do to get ready for the 25th of December. We put up lights, a tree, buy and wrap presents; we write Christmas cards and bake cookies. Christmas is something that we have to prepare for. When comes to the evolution of Christmas preparation I am prehistoric. But maybe that is not so bad.
For me Christmas is first and foremost the celebration of the birth of a baby that changed that world as we know it. Christmas is when I remember the reckless of love of God who became human. The event shows the love of God, and the length that our Creator is willing to go to reach out to us, forgive us, and give us life. The question that I ask when it comes to Christmas is how ought I prepare for the birth of the King of Kings? How do I get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Savior and Son of God?
The good news is I do not been to be proficient at shopping, or a master present wrapper or a Pulitzer Christmas card writer to prepare for this kind of Christmas. However, to prepare of a Christmas that celebrates not just gift giving, but the greatest gift ever given, we must do something that comes quite difficult to us, we must wait and be still.
Preparing for Christmas is about waiting, being still, and allowing God to come. Christmas is a time we ought to not run, but wait for God to come into the world as a baby, and into our life as our King. We are reminded that it is God's doing that changes things not us. So if this is the Christmas you want, then I urge you to get ready by putting down the list and wait for God to come once again.