Monday, January 2, 2012


Boxing day, a British "holiday," is traditionally the day after Christmas. I put the "holiday" in quotes because I don't consider work a holiday. For the Patterson's, Boxing Day is traditionally New Years Day. We like to watch the Rose Parade as we de-decorate the tree, boxing up the ornaments, ribbon and garland. This year the parade falling on Monday put the joyous celebration off by a day.

So we slept in and got to work this morning. As we sipped coffee, watched the parade, and de-cluttered, I couldn't help grousing about the transitory nature of Christmas. I mean, c'mon; we just put all this stuff up a month ago. All that work--twice in a month--for a holiday. Granted, it's Christmas; theologically, the second biggest holiday after Easter. But Easter doesn't get nearly the festive, garlandy attention we accord to December twenty-fifth.

Thinking about it, I did see a life lesson in all this fussy busyness. Many things in life follow the same pattern. We look forward to some event, or accomplishment. Often, there is much preparation to be done before the event. And, accomplishments? You know those things don't happen without prep work, often scads of it.

Finally, the great day arrives: Sound the trumpets! All that effort pays off. Whether large or small it's a day to rejoice and remember... And then--just like that--it's over. All that work for a single moment in time, gone again.

The First Noel was like that. God put, not years of work into the incarnation, but millennia. The creation, the patriarchs, the nation of Israel, the family of David, the kingdom, the prophets battling idolatry, the Babylonian captivity, the return, the second temple, the Maccabees, the betrothal of Joseph and Mary, the Annunciation, the overshadowing of the Spirit, the Angelic assurance to Joseph, the poorly timed trip to Bethlehem, the Heavenly Host, the birth, the shepherds... And as Mary pondered these things in her heart it was already time to move on. We can't celebrate Birthday everyday. We have to get ready for the cross.

We shouldn't be surprised when our lives follow the same pattern. After all, bio-rhythm is God's idea in the first place.


Carol Anne Wright Swett said...


Janet Dickinson said...

I've had some of the same feelings. Then it occurred to me-- if all the glitter and decorations were displayed daily they would cease to be magical. If we indulged in holiday foods year round we'd all have serious health issues. I wouldn't mind perpetually dwelling in Christmas spirit, however.