There's something about The Peanuts Holiday Classic, "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown" that easily puts a smile on my face. Whether it's the search for the 'perfect' Christmas tree, or Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown (one more time), or Linus explaining the true meaning of Christmas, it's always worth watching again each year.
One of my favorite songs from this classic is Vince Guaraldi's "Christmas time is here." The song lists the various objects indicating Christmas time is indeed here: carols sung, snowflakes (maybe not this year), presents. The list goes on.
Peaceful as this song may be, as the days move closer to Christmas, comes the reality of Christmas time indeed being here. In that, there is a sense of panic -- the perpetual to do list seems longer than the number of hours in the day.
Some years, this reality has been met with a response similar to Ebeneezer Scrooge, a response of 'bah, humbug!'
This year, the response is different. Yes, there are still miles to go on many fronts between now and December 25th. Yes, there are tasks needing completion that may or may not be completed before December 25th. But in the grander scheme of life, it is okay. It will be okay.
Christmas time is here -- is not a matter of how much has been done, or how many presents will be shared, or even how many favorite Christmas cookies are made. Nor is it about whether or not all the decorations (and their memories of years past) are brought out from storage, or even in previous locations. Nor is it about the 'perfect' family gathering, the 'perfect' meal, the 'perfect' gift.
The reality is, 'perfect' simply does not exist. Christmas ornaments may become damaged from storage or handling. Not all the ingredients may be on hand for favorite recipes and realized too late. Life throws a curve ball in our direction.
Christmas time is here -- is about the Greatest story ever told and shared with humanity: the story of God's love for each and every one of us, coming down to earth, taking on human form to become one of us. In taking on human form, Jesus walked this earth, eating, drinking, experiencing various emotions. In being human, Jesus died for each and every one of us -- died that later, we will live with him.
The Greatest Story, the Greatest Mystery. All wrapped up in one. Christmas time is here -- in all of its hopes, its dreams, its expectations, and its sorrows.
Wherever you find yourself this Christmas time, may the peace of Christ be with you. May it comfort you in times of sadness; encourage you in times of gladness. May it strengthen you in times of weakness; and above all, be a companion on your way.