It seemed to take on a life of it’s own, kicking off with Black Friday and ending with clearance shelves. That’s right, I’m talking about the Christmas season. Church would add in Christmas music to all the Sunday services, building up to the Christmas Eve service. The music on every radio station. The lights and decorations being donned as the whole city anticipated the coming festivities.
And then we moved across the world. Jumping the big pond. We moved to a road without a street address. We define our house by the color and the location. Hand delivered bills to your gate. Veterinarians come to your home to care for your pets. The stores shut down after noon or so on Saturday and reopen on Monday. Yes, we moved to a small town feel in the heart of Africa. The dirt roads. The power outages. The sun down and life shutting down by 6pm.
So Christmas looks like a two foot tree and our most favorite ornaments that we could fit in the suitcase. Christmas looks like an advent book of devotions counting down to the Savior’s birthday celebration. A toddler nativity and one store in the entire city randomly playing a Christmas song here or there. Christmas looks like the same houses without decorations, but the Chinese store really trying hard to convince the community that an artificial tree is more important than daily food on their imaginary table.
Christmas looks like 100 degree weather and that same Marginal breeze. Christmas looks like normal routines.
We’re told that the church will celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and we look forward to that. And we’re thankful for those of you that shared your Christmas tree and decoration pictures as we adjust to the newness of Christmas season here.
We’ll eventually put out the presents under the Christmas tree, but for now it feels unnecessary and a bit showy as the community visits our home often.
There’s still much joy. Still much delight and excitement. Christmas music still fills our home at times, resulting in sing-alongs and dancing together. And we enjoy watching the pictures of snow showing up online… just like the Africans talk of snow in far off places.
I’m so thankful that even in all these changes and adjustments, the beauty of the Christmas season is still found in the truth of Emmanuel coming down to us.
Merry Christmas, all. =)