Getting Excited for Christmas · 22 December 2018

Christmas is just around the corner, and I am excited.

I recently had the following conversation (or something like it) with a student:

Student: “Are you excited for the non-specific winter holiday coming up, which I assume is Christmas?”
(My pat answer.) “I try not to get excited about things until they actually happen.”
Student (exasperated): “But that’s the whole point!”

Adoration of the Shepherds
by the Dutch painter Gerard van Honthorst, 1622
This work is in the public domain.

The short exchange gave me pause. Getting excited about the very specific winter holiday, which is indeed Christmas, is the whole point.

I love Christmas. I love the season of giving. I love celebrating. I love family. I love the food. I love the cheer. I even love the humbugs in my life. (I really only have a couple who say they are humbugs, but the fact that they are gems is quite a different story.) And of course, I love that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth. (No, I am not preaching.)

We need to get ready for the Christmas season by watching some of my favorite movies. A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life. We need to get prepared for our Christmas dinner by buying food and researching recipes. We need to buy gifts and decorate. And we need to prepare our hearts for the King of Kings, the reason for the season.

All of which translate into getting excited for Christmas. Which I love to do. I just forgot for a moment. I forgot because I while I do like to save my energy for the moment, I need to remember that I should be excited for each moment. And for big occasions, I need to be excited for the preparations as well.

I am glad that my student reminded me that the excitement for the Christmas season is as important as the yearly event itself. Sometimes, I get worried about the little details. Sometimes, I wonder if I have gotten the right gift. Sometimes, I wonder if I am really ready for the season. And in that wondering, I sometimes forget to get excited.

I do not know if I am quite ready for Christmas. There are still presents to wrap and letters to send (maybe even one to Santa). There might even be a couple gifts left to buy. But like my student said, I ought to be excited about Christmas. About all the preparations and all the presents and all the get-togethers and all the family and all the eating and all the movies. Mostly, I ought to be excited to give love and to receive love. After all, love is at the heart of Christmas. (See, not too much preaching.)

Christmas is just around the corner. I am not so sure I was excited about it before. But thanks to my student’s reminder, I am now.

“Merry Christmas to all. And to all a good night.”

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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  1. Merry Christmas, Michael! I hope it’s a wonderful one for you.

    Lydia · 23 December 2018, 04:55 ·

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