Monday, August 8, 2011

Christmas in August

I’m in a Christmas mood. I want the chilly weather, and the gatherings, and the decorations, and the songs (I keep getting Angels We Have Heard on High stuck in my head). The big stretch between Easter and Advent is getting to me. I want to bypass the Halloween season, which stores dictate has already started. I want to avoid the time where Advent hasn’t begun but pop culture pushes commercialized Christmas on us. I want to skip to the good stuff. I know I can’t. If it were Christmas every day, it would lose its meaning. There are more than a few holiday movies about that. But for almost two weeks, I haven’t been able to shake this Christmas mood.

The feeling is part of a bigger picture, I think. I can’t conceptualize what I’ve been going through the past few months. It’s like a change, but I hesitate to call it that. It’s more a deepening of what I already believed. It’s some serious evaluation and decision-making that I wasn’t expecting. My heart has been opened to the mystical side of my faith, a side that can intellectually contemplate and accept the supernatural. So I’m eager to start a new church year in this light, to think about the virgin birth and the ramifications of having God on earth (and as a helpless infant in poor family no less). Could I think about those things now? Of course. But they are heightened and deepened during that time of year. The community focus on the same aspects of faith help the individual. Each week, the beautiful complexity of the season grows more intense.

If Advent is about waiting and preparation, I don’t know what waiting for Advent is. (Like the promise rings some girls get before engagement rings?) Fortunately, I know the Christmas decorations in stores in October will ruin the mood. Because even if we really want to speed up the calendar, we shouldn’t. There is a time for everything. Christmas in August or October isn’t it.

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