Why Does Christmas Always Sneak Up On Me?

It’s already less than a week til Christmas. I know this for many reasons. I look at my calendar and see that, when this posts, it will be December 20, and since I’m good at math, I know that December 25 is less than seven days away. If that weren’t enough, the day this posts will also be the last day before we go on Christmas break. We’ve spent the last two weeks practice “O Tannenbaum” for the Christmas program tomorrow. I’m a Religion teacher at a Catholic school, so I’ve been looking at the prophets’ proclamations of Christmas and the New Testament accounts of the Christmas narrative with my students. For the past three Sundays, I’ve gone to Mass, seen them light the Advent candles and preach about Christ’s coming birth. Yet, here I am, shocked that Christmas is next Wednesday.

Now, I could use this as an opportunity to rail against the busyness of life, the secularization and commercializing of the holiday, or the inability of our modern society to ever take a moment focus on the Divine Reality, and none of these complaints would be out of place or even untrue. They would, however, all be little more than me dodging an important and uncomfortable truth. I’m terrible about self-reflection.

Preparing for Christmas, as Brandon and I discussed in a podcast almost a year ago, is largely a matter of self-reflection. We have to spend time reflecting, yes, on the coming of Christ on that first Christmas so long ago, but also on the impact His coming has on us today, and further on examining our preparedness for His eventual return. All of this, of course, brings me back to my prior point, that I consistently fail to make that time for reflection, and so, find myself once again shocked at the closeness of Christmas this year. The good news, of course, is that it isn’t too late. I hope you’ll all join me in making the remaining time til Christmas a time of prayerful reflection and preparation!

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