Yes, it can be commercialized, but SO WHAT?!? There’s something about the Christmas season that is special. Yes, you have Chanukah, Kwaanza and a bunch of other holidays that vie for attention, but the Big Cheese of holidays is on Dec 25. Here are my 10 favorite things about the Advent season (anyone know what “Advent” means? Just taught it to my 5th grade Sunday School class! See below for the answer). Hope you get the Christmas fever just by reading the list:
2) The fact that so many parts of Jesus’ birth were predicted in the Bible hundreds of years before they occurred is still mind boggling. Being born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) and in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) are just a couple of doozies.
4) Handel’s Messiah-is there a better piece of music ever composed? You may not even know that it doesn’t evem end with the “Hallelujah” chorus. There’s still another half hour of wondrous sounds!
5) The Charlie Brown Christmas! Thank God for Vince Guaraldi!
6) Tacky Christmas CDs. Sure, there are classics like Nat, Frank and Bing. But you’ve GOT to love Elvis as well, and even the country, bluegrass and jazz ones sound great. I have one with just a banjo and tuba that delivers a smoking take of “The 12 Days of Christmas!”
7) Nativity Scenes! I collect them from all over the world when I do medical mission trips, and have them displayed all over my office and house. Just got one from Alaska-Mary and Joseph are in an Igloo, surrounded by moose and polar bears. The retablos from Peru are wonderfully other worldly, and the African wood carvings have a mystical somberness about them. I’m still looking for a baseball one!
8) RED and GREEN! Poinsettas were conceived just for the holidays, and everyone looks fantastic in outfits and vests that would make the Von Trapp family jealous. Then, there’s dieing things like pancake and waffle batter red and green that makes breakfast just so wonderful. And we haven’t even discussed misteletoe!
10) “Peace on earth, and good will toward men with whom He is pleased.” Hard concept to beat.