Winter… Advent… Christmas… – it’s a season of simplicity.
Ha! Really? Then why are we so busy, busy, busy, like the magician in Frosty the Snowman?
Is it because we have so many expectations of what we need to do for Christmas? But aren’t these also the expectations of family and society? I think a disillusioned Charlie Brown asks a very pertinent question, “What is Christmas all about?”. Every year that simple show never fails to bring tears to my eyes. The Incarnation, in all its incredible, stupendous, marvelous, awesome simplicity: God became one of us, born of a simple young woman, in a quiet little town, in an unadorned barn. Only the angels knew enough to sing Alleluia and Glory to God in the Highest.
Advent really is about simplicity.
It is hard to uncomplicate what we have complicated – we have our expectations of what ‘the perfect Christmas’ should look like. And it’s gotten far worse with social media and Pinterest, because obviously everyone else is having a perfect Christmas. But deep inside are we longing for the simple, peaceful beauty of a Currier and Ives Christmas scene? I am reminded of a quote by Eddie Cantor: “Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” Advent really is about simplicity: a time of expectant, hopeful and joyful waiting. Nothing complicated about waiting. While we wait, we prepare. Okay, certainly more strenuous, tiring, but there is time to be still, time for quiet contemplation – if we choose to take it.
What are our hearts really yearning for? What makes us smile and sigh with contentment? The simple things: cooking with family and friends, the sounds of laughter and talking, sitting by the fire and watching the flames*, going out on a cold, starry night for Evening Prayer, sitting by the window watching the snow fall and the birds in the shrubs, soup and bread by candlelight, stopping by a friend’s house for a cup of tea and a chat, little acts of love we give or receive, stopping for a moment to look out the window before you head to bed for a moment of silence and a prayer of thanksgiving to close the day. And all those expectations of perfection? Well, Jesus was born into our imperfect world to leave us one simple command: love one another as He loves us. It’s the blanket of sparkling snow that covers all the imperfections of our lives.
Take time to savor the simple, beautiful moments.
Don’t let the simple beauty of this season go unnoticed, unappreciated, or unexperienced. Take time to savor the simple, beautiful moments. Hold the Christ-child in the rocking chair of your hearts and soak in the love, breathe in the peace, feel the joy settling in your soul. We wish you a simple, peaceful and very merry Christmas!
*If you need a fireplace this is an open invitation to come over any time and we’ll make the fire, put on the hot tea/chocolate or pop a cork!