The anticipation of Christmas shows best in the shining eyes of a child – or an adult with a childlike heart. Last weekend, my daughter and her family helped me with outdoor decorations. I think secretly she had a vision of me alone at home climbing a ladder and falling off with no one there to help me. It didn’t happen, but she’s like that with me.
As we finished with lights and the sun dropped from the sky and dusk settled, my 6-year-old granddaughter exclaimed, “It’s so Christmasey and so beautiful.” Anticipation of Christmas rang through my yard in her sweet voice, which in some moments grew quite loud. In her eyes, I saw joy for even simple lights. Her contagious excitement filled me with anticipation of all the lights to come in my neighborhood and throughout the city.
Oh to feel such anticipation at this time of the year.
Anticipation of the First Christmas
I wonder about the very first Christmas – you know, that time in Bethlehem. We don’t talk much about that part of Christmas these days. But I still think about it. I know Jesus’ birth more likely happened in the spring, but this is when we celebrate it traditionally. And I have to ask, “Is my heart filled with anticipation of Christmas because of Him, for some other reason, or not at all?” If I look forward to a true celebration of Jesus the Christ, then I can anticipate something glorious. After all, that first Christmas was an amazing and glorious occasion, although most people were simply too busy to notice a tiny baby.
Those who anticipated the coming of a Messiah didn’t miss it. Most did. This year, may I not be found without anticipation of Christmas in the truest sense of the word – and may the awe of it all stay with me long beyond December 25.