It’s nearly Christmas. At least that’s what the calendar says. I’ve been to two Christmas parties which, of course, I only do at Christmas time. I’ve baked cookies, shopped online, and hung the stockings. So here’s the thing: It just doesn’t feel like Christmas.
I have certain expectations for this time of year, and they are simply not being met. My Christmasy feelings usually start at 5am on Black Friday and fill me with a hurried sense of celebration that remains until the last of the ornaments are wrapped in tissue paper and boxed for next year. It includes chilly mornings and icy breath, socks and sweaters and Starbucks. Oh, Starbucks! It means a million little gatherings with tiny presents and gooey brownies and quiches and dips and every kind of cracker under the sun, and at least a couple of big Parties with prime rib and cheesecake and wine. It’s always crazy and busy and I always complain about how all that crap has nothing to do with Christmas and why am I running around like an overdressed, boozey, shopaholic, overeater, hopped up on caffeine and candy canes year after year after year. But, I’ll tell you, the annual Christmas madness, it seems, has become a bit of a tradition for me. And now I miss it.
As we get further into the dry Summer months, I hear more and more Ticos commenting on how it feels like Christmas. It always catches me off guard as I look around this sea of green coffee fields and banana trees bending under gusts of wind and sprouting new leaves in the sunshine. Its surreal to me that it’s even December. I think my heart is stuck in a perpetual state of springtime here, longing for a change of season that will never come. Tank tops and flip flops don’t exactly conjure up the snow flakey sparkly day dreams of a winter wonderland.
Fortunately I did learn something from all those years of being preoccupied by parties and overstimulated by sale prices and charmed by paper, ribbons, and gift ties. In the end, none of it matters. Not one bit. Because only one thing matters and my economy, my clothing, and my time zone play no role in it.
Decorate or don’t. Hot weather or cold. Great gifts at great prices or none. It really doesn’t matter. In the end, the celebration of a Savior doesn’t hinge on wether or not I feel ready. It is done. Christ is born.