But if the tree hasn’t outright fallen, then the leaves stay on the limbs out here. Snow never dares to fall. Frost rarely graces our windshields. The best seasonal markers we have are when the outdoor decorations go up in our neighborhood — like plastic skeletons climbing out of the front yard or LED snowflakes the size of frisbees flashing like a rock concert — letting us know that something festive is around the corner. Otherwise, it can feel timeless here.
Add to that my list of what needs to get done normally, to what needs to get done around the holidays, to what I want to get done, to what my wife wants me to get done — and it seems that my time is taken. “Timeless” can feel literal — that I can constantly feel that “time-less.”
It makes Advent all the more necessary.
Holiday comes from two words: holy + day. Holidays are supposed to be days that are literally “set apart” for reflection and connection with God and others. It’s been good to catch up with old friends over the past two weekends, and I hope to celebrate more holy days with others as Christmas arrives. But more than that, Advent reminds me to yearn for a deeper connection with God as well. It’s a rhythm that reminds me that life is more than what I can just touch or see. So somewhere in between the grind and hustle, I hope to be more present to the reality of God around us — and let his love sink into my bones. For on Christmas, unto us a child is born, to us a son is given.
May our days, as we approach Christmas and a start to a new year, be holy.