I’m sure you remember the song from “Mame” that sings its title in the chorus with a rousing cry to the universe, “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute!” If you don’t remember it, keep an ear out; you’ll hear it a hundred or more times this holiday season. Luckily, I’m a fan. I’m a fan of all Christmas music, and I have an obsessive tradition of swearing off anything BUT holiday music on my playlists and stations from Black Friday to Epiphany. That might send you right over the edge, but it’s one of the intentional ways I keep my spirits buoyed in December, which is both joyful and stressful. Rather than resist the onslaught of commercialism that is unavoidable, I embrace it and make it my own, inviting the Holy Spirit into every note, every decoration, every get-together and every repetitive holiday TV special—and of course every special Sunday in Advent.
I don’t know about you, but I really do need a little Christmas this year, with war, fear and violence pervading so much of our lives. The blessed silent night that brings sleep in heavenly peace is on its way, and it can’t get here too quickly for me. Advent is our time of decorating not just our homes, but our minds and spirits to invite the Christ-child in. As another Christmas song sings, “Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing.” Whatever brings joy to your world, be it physical, emotional or spiritual, nurture it and decorate your life with it as you welcome the birth of God’s love.
At KPC on Sunday, Christmas Eve, we will have three services to choose from. 10:00am will be a relaxed, informal time of Scripture, meditation, and lots of family-friendly a capella hymn-singing. 5:00pm we expect a number of families with children, and 10:00pm those who like to usher in Christmas with a vigil that looks into the blessed sacred night. Both the 5:00 and 10:00pm services will be bursting with special music, our choirs, bells, and closing with candle-lighting and “Silent Night.”
Christmas Day will be a time for you to gather with friends and family, and if you don’t already have a family service to go with your celebration, I’ve provided one below for you, shared with permission from The Presbyterian Outlook. Make it your own and start a tradition. One of my Christmas memories as a child is coming down on Christmas morning, leaping into the happiness of presents from Santa and seeing what was in the stockings, but before we got to unwrapping, there was a pause while we sang “Joy to the World” and my dad read from the Bible. As a boy, I impatiently waited for Daddy to finish, so we could get on with the fun stuff, but those moments worked their way into my heart, and now they are the fun stuff, as my heart continues to prepare him room; and the lights and music warm me even more now as I pray less for toys and more for heavenly peace.
Love and light,