I admit that, for me, it is sometimes hard to get into the “holiday spirit,” especially since our children are pretty much grown. When the boys were younger I was much more plugged into Christmas – baking for friends, decorating the house and setting up the tree. But times have changed in the Goldsworthy house – last year we didn’t even get our tree until Christmas Eve. This year, though I was smart enough to pre-order a tree from the boys Falcon football team that I picked up on Dec. 11, it still is leaning against the outside wall of our home waiting to be brought into the living room. Sad.
When the kids were younger, the “reason for the season” was much more evident in our house, too. Those were the teaching years and if too much emphasis was put on gifts and the secular aspects of the holiday, I’d try and redirect attention to the birth of Jesus, reminding our boys what we were celebrating. But they know the story now – whether or not they embrace it – and I find that like so many others, my focus is not on celebrating the birth of the one I’ve praised as my lord and savior but instead on “getting things done.”
I’ve made a concerted effort this year, turning on KOST FM after Thanksgiving to listen to holiday music to help get me in the mood. And it wasn’t a bad idea – on more than one occasion I’ve sat back and smiled, listening to someone who forgot the cranberry sauce or lamenting about not being home for Christmas.
But it wasn’t until I stepped across the threshold of a local church that I reconnected with the true spirit of the season.
Last Sunday I stopped at Montrose Church to hear Pastor Dave Roberts. What I got was so much more.
I settled into my seat, sitting under a ceiling draped with tiny white lights as the Christmas Chorus took the stage. Seemingly sanctioned by heaven itself, this enthusiastic group of singers sang the praises of the arrival of the king.
I actually teared up as I got it – the reason for the season was being almost shouted from the rafters. Did I sit there sheepish in my embarrassment? Heck, no! In the voice that God saw fit to give me (which ain’t saying much) I joined in with this hallelujah choir.
And let me tell you that when the offering tray came around I was grateful that I had something to put in it, but much more grateful for the gift that I got.
I write this on Wednesday afternoon. Usually I write my columns earlier in the week so that our production day is less harried, but I decided to add this footnote as I – along with everyone else in Crescenta Valley – wait for whatever chaos these storms bring our way. Though this afternoon has included an occasional burst of thunder the mountains have held firm and the water running down our streets is clear.
Thank you to all of the safety personnel who patrolled our streets on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Many of the folks are volunteers who have full time jobs. Rather than stay warm and cozy, they donned their slickers and boots and went into harm’s way.
I also am grateful for Mary O’Keefe who stayed up late to maintain contact with law enforcement and government officials to get up to the minute information that she sent to me so we could package it and send out to our email blast list and post on cvweekly.com.
I appreciate you all.