–2:30 minutes read time–

Have you ever wondered why we try to pack a year’s worth of activities into the month of December? We haven’t even officially made it into that month and our calendars are bursting at the seams! There are musicals, tree lightings, Santa lists, Christmas shopping, cookie baking, and Holiday party attending to be done! Come to think of it, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have already come and gone! There is more hustle and bustle than any other time of year, and all done in the name of good cheer. It can leave even the most even keel person in a “Holidaze” before the holidays are under way. Could it be, that we’ve lost our way?

Recently, while on family vacation, my five-year-old niece was having a “moment” while we were out to dinner waiting for the food to arrive. I assessed the situation and saw that it was time for an “Auntie Kristin & niece” exploration so that my sister, her mom, could actually enjoy some much needed adult conversation. So off we went to explore the grounds. There was a Holiday buzz in the air. One of the servers told us that just a short car ride away was Santa and his sleigh, with tree lighting and shopping. My niece’s eyes grew wide, I’m not sure if it was the sugar from the hot cocoa or the thought of seeing Santa in all of his glory. Knowing that I wasn’t about to get in a car for our exploration together, I diverted the conversation and reminded her we were on an exploration and would see this winter wonderland another time. After only one “Awww maaannn”, she and I were off to see what we could find.

It’s amazing to see the world through a five year olds eyes during this time of year. We tell them they better be good because Santa’s watching them. All year round we are telling them to share and think of others, but not during December! This is the time we say make a list of everything you want! Some families even put elves on a shelf and then stage a scene that if the child had done it would land them in a time out! Tis the season that throws out all reason!

Anyway, my niece was letting me know all of the plans she had for this holiday season, one of which was getting the courage to go and sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what she wanted for Christmas. As she was telling me that she needed to write him a letter, we rounded a corner and there it was. The manger scene with all of the familiar characters. It was lighted beautifully, and there in the middle was the baby Jesus. Before I could bask in the glory of the moment I noticed out of the corner of my eye, and directly next to the manger, a mailbox. Not just any mailbox, no this one was big, and had “North Pole” and “To Santa” written in huge red letters on it. I had a fleeting moment of disappointment that the greatest story ever told was being hijacked by a well-placed Santa marketing gimmick (right outside of the gift store). Then what to my wondering ears did I hear…..my niece screaming out, “I can’t believe it, it’s the baby Jesus!”

In all the chaos of the season, with all the glitter vying for our attention, she saw the Savior. When we made our way back to the table, the first thing she announced about we saw on our exploration was the baby Jesus. Then she said I have to write my letter to Santa. She’s five, it’s how things roll in a five-year-old world. What touched my heart was in the letter she wrote to Santa: she told him she loved him, and that was all. Kind of like the Christmas message. God sent us Jesus to tell us how much He loves us. Simple, yet so profound.

I wonder, with all of the busyness of this season, will we be as excited to see the baby Jesus? As we decorate with tinsel and garland, will it be the baby in the manger scene that completes what Christmas is for each of us? So that we don’t end up in a holidaze, let’s remember to find The Way this Christmas. He’s in the simplicity of it all. This season when we encounter Him, let’s shout out to everyone around us, “I can’t believe it, it’s the baby Jesus!”

Have a great week!

Kristin Tucker
Director of Worship Arts