Hard to believe that Christmas is upon us! That magical season of love and joy with all of its cherished traditions. Homes lovingly decorated and strung with shimmering lights, beautiful Christmas trees everywhere, beloved carols filling the air, delectable smells wafting from our kitchens, holiday parties with family and friends, bustling shoppers at every turn looking for that perfect gift.

As wonderful as it is, it can also be exhausting and frenzied leaving you feeling overwhelmed and depleted at the end of each day, way too tired for anything meaningful. And by the time Christmas morning comes, and all the presents are unwrapped and festivities over, you may feel a little down and disappointed that you allowed yourself, once again, to get caught up in the commercial side of Christmas, while neglecting its true meaning. Sound familiar?

So to help avert another unhappy ending, make a plan and set a time right now (before you jump on that Yuletide treadmill) to visit the manger. It will make a difference.

Find a quiet place to relax, close your eyes, take a deep breath and retreat in your mind to that blessed night long ago when unto us a child was born, unto us a son was given; and listen to the whisper of the infinite. “Oh Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining … it is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.”

Image from New Line Cinema’s ‘The Nativity Story’

With your eyes still closed, see in your mind’s eye the precious baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. Smell the hay, the heavily scented anointing oil gently rubbed on his newborn body. Feel the sacred silence and awe surrounding Him. Open your heart, your ears, your soul to the deep abiding music of the Universe, the music of the heavenly spheres of Angels, of all creation praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.”

Let your heart and mind linger awhile and reflect on this blessed event … the miracle of it all … the very center of and reason for this joyous Christmas celebration (Luke 2:14).

 

 

And when you are ready to return to the outside world, first take a moment and remind yourself that Christmas is not a deadline, it’s not about getting it all done before December, 25th! But it’s a spiritual celebration, a spiritual journey from darkness to light, from hate to love, from chaos to peace. And above all it’s about the Son of God descending and becoming like man, so that man can ascend and become like God.

Merry Christmas