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Getting Ready for Christmas by Ann Walker

After the Thanksgiving holiday, numerous people’s thoughts turn to Christmas. Some cut down a Christmas tree and bring it home with the expectation of gathering around the tree to decorate it with favorite ornaments. They may add new ornaments to the mix in celebration of special events that happened throughout the year. Some people start the process of Christmas shopping in anticipation of gift-giving. Others start baking cookies with the idea of sharing homemade goodies. Radio stations and stores are filled with the sounds of Christmas songs.

The waiting for Christmas can be challenging—especially for children. The television is filled with seasonal Christmas stories. Children become more aware of the hustle and bustle before Christmas because everyone seems to be moving at a quicker pace. Many children are anxious to wake up on Christmas, with the tree turned on—all decorated—with gifts underneath that seem to be waiting to be opened.

What is the greatest gift? As Christians, we would adamantly say, “Jesus!” Advent gives us the chance to get ready for the birth of God’s greatest gift to us. While lighting the Advent wreath candles each week, we are given a chance to pause and anticipate what is in store for us. Jesus is the light. Let it shine!

For adults who have lost a loved one, Christmastime may be somber. Adults remember Christmases from years gone by when things seemed easier and more enjoyable. We pause to remember those loved ones with prayers to lift them up as well as adding prayers for ourselves to get through the holidays. It can be challenging for some to remain hopeful when they are still in mourning. With faith, we can rejoice that Jesus will be with us to help us move through the seasons of life with love and grace. We can do some things to prepare our hearts for Him:

  • Reading materials which lift our souls.
  • Watching inspirational videos which renew our hopes and dreams.
  • Praying seasonal prayers to elicit strength.
  • Singing songs which put a spring in our steps.
  • Sending Christmas cards to remember those who have meant so much to us through the years.

The list is endless. They all can help in our anticipation of this blessed season. The saying, “Jesus is the reason for the season” definitely rings true when we realize that all of our preparations will acknowledge our love for Jesus and our happiness that the Savior is almost here!

- By Ann Walker

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