I don’t know what it is for you. Maybe the first snow or “chrimassy” decoration or the advents calendar, but I think most of us have this moment of realization that gives us the feeling that Christmas is not to far off any more.
For me and my sister it’s an odd thing! Without hearing the whole (!) song “Last Christmas” by Wham on the radio it does not matter what date it is but the Christmas time can’t start. Actually I don’t like the song that much, but somehow it’s one of the things you get so used to that you can’t do without.
Luckily I heard it last Saturday the first time (I think they don’t send it that often any more) and Christmas may come.
Maybe not being able to listen to radio and the famous song made Christmas such a weird time on board Logos II. I think most will agree with me that even if decorations are put up and maybe the first (small ones that came by air fright) parcels arrived and we are having conferences and I-night centred on Christ birth you never really felt that Christmas was coming. And one morning you woke up, went to have a shower, got dressed and shortly before you left your cabin realized it was the 24th of December.
I can’t say that the leadership (and others) did not try their best to make these days special. I just have to think of the quest of finding a Christmas tree, with out success though in Peru or Ghana. The food was amazing over those days, it was great to have so much free time (2 days?) and no visitors for a break. I did not like the services that much though. I don’t really know why. Maybe because they where not as well prepared and festive as I was used from home? Maybe it had to do with me.
But despite all things that seemed wrong (oh, I know they where only DIFFERENT) and those that where missing (especially my family) it Christmas on Logos II had some where valuable lessons for me.
It was really great not to have to go Christmas shopping, it was great having no children nativities to prepare for, no big house to clean for the guests and helping to prepare an enormous feast.
It was great to be able to share this day with people from different countries, from different backgrounds and (for me) new traditions. And the Christmas outreaches where always reminding me of what this big celebration is about: showing and remembering the love of the God who came to this world.
Well, but here am I now! I had “Last Christmas” and the shopping tours. We had the nativity and baking cookies (which I hate by the way) and now I am planning the last group Christmas party and in the midst of that all I realize it seems to be all about me again. I feel kind of ashamed. Not only that I forgot the people around me (I’m not talking about people I like, but those I ignore) and showing love. I even forgot the birthday child. Not on account of an intentional decision, but somehow on the way without realizing it. Something has to change!
Maybe it’s good to remember the “last Christmases” once in a while, at least that’s my resume.