“Christmas” has been in a state of flux in my life for more than a decade. I never thought about how much my experience of and priorities around this holiday were influenced by my Mom until she got hit by the Mack truck of diabetes + congestive heart failure + stroke in November of 1996.
For those next four Christmases, I worked to make Christmas meaningful to her and dad. Through those years I had the unique support of being on staff at Faith Church and had myriad Christmas things that came with that role and that community of Faith. And I had a few friends who generously and intentionally included me in various Christmas rituals and traditions. They were my transitional safety net.
For the past 10 years, I’ve been trying to define Christmas for myself and not always doing such a great job of it. Interesting journey. I probably could fill a lot of blog postings about this journey alone as I recount the twists and turns of deciding what is important to me–what helps me to keep a focus on Christ and off of myself at this time of year. I could also tell a few tales of the collateral damage done along the way–missed opportunities and such.
One thing that has been consistent through it all has been music. I love Christmas music, but it’s more than that. Christmas music works in me some pretty important workings. It might be too dramatic to say that Christmas music saved my life — yeah, that’s too dramatic. But I can honestly say that God has used it to move me toward Him time and time again.
I have a binder of Christmas CD’s that get hauled out around Thanksgiving (early this year by a few days, thanks to Aileen’s visit) and don’t get put away until early in January. I practically drown myself in Christmas music for a month and it’s glorious.
This month I plan to write about some of my absolute favorites and some of the deliciously quirky. I love this music and I love to share it. Maybe you’ll discover something new that will remind you for the joy, the comfort, the hope, the grace, the love that Christmas points to as it directs our hearts and mind to Christ. Maybe you’ll share some of your music favorites with me and I’ll add to my binder.