‘Tis the Season…
…for Holiday wars.
Are you Team Thanksgiving for the first three weeks of November or are you Team Christmas as soon as Halloween shenanigans come to a close? This is the battle being waged at my workplace right now, starting between two work besties and quickly spreading throughout the building as people take sides hanging Turkeys or Tinsel on their office doors. We are two weeks into November and most employees now have a confusion of decor on their doors, thanks to the Christmas Captain spreading Christmas cheer in the form of tiny Santa hats she has strategically taped onto Thanksgiving doors and the Turkey Top Brass hiding feathers amidst evergreen foliage. But the battle wages on!
Despite the friendly competition, we all know that at the end of it all, we all win regardless of Holiday affinity, because our staff have never been more into the Holiday Spirit than they have this year.
Holidays are good for the Soul.
Holidays are good for the soul because we, as human beings, take after God’s own liking for setting aside sacred time. God, at the start of creation, marked out 6 days of work and 1 day of Sabbath. Holidays invite us into Sacred Sabbath, allowing us to press pause on whatever else is going on around us and take a much-needed breath. During these sacred times, we gather together with friends and family, sharing food and giving gifts. We celebrate generational traditions that remind us of our ancestral Saints who have gone on before us, and tighten the bond we share with the living. We spend time reflecting on our God and all the good the Spirit brings to our lives.
Holidays are good for the soul because they are a time to add beauty and wonder to our utilitarian spaces. God, in Her Wisdom, knew the importance of breaking up the mundane and energizing the listlessness of sterile spaces. God, the creator, could have formed a world void of beauty; but instead, He painted flowers across fields and washed color into Sunrises. He splashes vibrancy onto the leaves marking Autumn and whispers a pristine white blanket onto frozen ground. As imago dei, we also love beauty and find ways to add artistic touches around the Holidays to enrich our homes and communities.
Holidays are good for the soul because they are a time to disrupt the normal routines and dynamics existing in families and social structures to gather around a point of unity. Perhaps in your family, the kids get to stay up late with the adults on Holidays. Perhaps at your workplace, you get a day off or can leave early. We look forward to these pleasant disruptions, and they remind us of Jesus’ vision for Heaven, where worldly routines and dynamics will be disrupted forever. Where the last will be first (Matt 20:16), the blind will see (John 9:39), the mourning will be comforted (Matt 5:4), and the Kingdom will belong to the Children (Mark 10:14). The Holidays give us a glimpse into the Kingdom of Heaven where all will be brought together as one body, no matter who they are or how they got there.
May your Thanksgiving next week be filled with good food and company, an abundance of things for which to be thankful, and the space to reflect on the Divine who wrote into our hearts a desire for Sabbath, Celebration, and a disruption of the status quo. Blessings to you and yours. May your cup be filled that you may overflow the Love of God onto others this Season.