So, this is how it goes… One minute we are all hopped up on Pumpkin EVERYTHING, dulled by a sweat “tryptophan hangover”. We’re probably mumbling something about thankfulness, and then, quickly, we begin to plot our escape route into the next year. Thanksgiving comes and goes. Busy, busy, busy… “My gosh, we’ve got to start Christmas shopping!! What’s the budget look like this year?” Fall gives way and we are suddenly swept away, into a flurry of gift shopping, house decorating, card writing and Peppermint EVERYTHING… now we need to rush and get ready for Christmas. Every year…the “Holiday Rush”.
What happened to enjoying the season? When did we stop? Remember when we were younger and we were all excited? Maybe it was family time with Grandma we were excited about. Maybe it was the awesome Christmas vacation from school. For SURE it was the gifts!! One way or another, it seems like we used to stop to “smell the pine trees” or at LEAST the pine scented candles. We used to really ENJOY the season. Now, sometimes, it seems we go through the rush, and if we’re not careful, we miss the joy. “Are there REALLY only four more weekends till Christmas?” Yikes.
My family’s favorite Christmas movie is ELF. If you haven’t seen it please do. You are welcome in advance. There are quotes in that movie that have made it onto mugs, tee-shirts & countless memes, but one quote has made it even deeper for me. One quote has made it deep into my heart. My all-time favorite quote is delivered by the main character, Buddy the Elf, played by Will Ferrell. During one scene in the movie Buddy says, “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite!” This quote is like a personal motto for me, because well, “Smiling’s my favorite”, too!
“I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite!” Buddy the Elf
I sometimes realize, even when it’s 4:45 AM and I am reaching for my coffee on the dreaded 91 West Freeway… I’m smiling. No one can see me but I am. Why? Because I’m crazy? Well that’s another story for another day. No, it’s because I just have to. I can’t help it. There is a Joy that is bubbling up from within me that comes out as a smile. We aren’t promised happiness but we are promised Joy. It’s the Joy that expands your heart so that you just can’t help but smile. I’ve actually been asked before why am I smiling, and sometime people even tell me to just STOP. Sorry, but Buddy the Elf & I couldn’t stop if we tried because, Smiling’s our favorite!
I work with a little lady that would listen if Christmas music starting in the summer, like the day after VBS if she could. It’s more than she just can’t wait to Jingle the Bells… she LOVES the journey to Silent Night.
So what do my Christmas loving coworker & I have that makes us a little crazy about this time of year? Why are we so excited about Christmas music and smiling? One way to say it is that “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear.” It’s JOY. The Joy that comes from knowing that for four weeks we get to journey in excitement to the birth of the promised King. The Advent journey brings us closer and closer towards the celebration of the One who brought Joy to the World! The Advent journey brings us to the Silent Night, when we are blessed with the gift we received that has outlasted any other gift, the gift of Jesus.
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1:23
And through Him, JOY.
“An angel of the LORD came to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:9-11 May the good news of the fulfilled promise bring you great joy this holiday season… and I pray you can’t help but smile with the Joy that rests in your heart.
Early Childhood Coordinator