The Christmas Tree in Bethlehem in Manger Square
Once upon a time Christmas couldn’t wait any longer. So it made its appearance before Thanksgiving in a flurry of catalogs, store displays, and Black Friday coupons.
And then with barely a moment to spare, it soared quickly past Thanksgiving in a display of colored lights, illuminated trees, and the promise of multiple holiday events and Cyber Monday’s best deals and coupons.
But Christmas was still early. So it stuck around and began to overshadow and overwhelm the often forgotten time of anticipation and preparation we call Advent — the season of waiting and expectation, and preparing our hearts for the coming of God’s greatest gift.
Yes, something was missing.
So Christmas made another appearance, this time with an old story of a Child wrapped in swaddling clothes, and of Angels and a star and the song of peace on earth and goodwill.
And then Christmas became real.