Why hello there, December! Welcome! So many of us have been longing for you for so long; your distraction and love, some magic to round out a treacherous year.
We have missed you, December, and all that you entail. Even before your arrival, people have been so anxious for your coming that already houses are lined with twinkling lights to catch our eyes while driving and lessen the blow of the earlier and earlier sunset. You see, December, you give us a reason to see the beauty all around by pulling it to the surface. December, you make it hard to see the darkness that overcame this year.
Oh, December, you give us something to look forward to — anything other than rising rates and data on deaths. Drowning out the noise of negativity, you help us gaze upon the glory of the days to come — the celebration, peace and joy that everyone is preparing for.
And hope and belief, December, you bring it. From cutting down a tree to resurrecting it and bringing it back to life in our homes, you provide an opportunity for us to gather and decorate a symbol of new life and new beginnings.
While receiving gifts are part of you, December, you turn the focus to the act of giving. Picking out the present for a person you love proves to be even more perfect than a wishful receipt. Losing sight of personal requests, December brings a longing to give more than we receive.
And, oh the kindness that December brings! Empathy, understanding, donations — it’s like once December is here, everyone’s hearts get a little softer and there’s a drive to help others. Whether it is holding the door a little longer for the next person, paying for the next vehicle in line at the drive thru, offering money, toys or time to those in need, the outpouring of love is finally the way it should be all year ‘round.
Forgiveness and grace, two other elements that come to life thanks to you, December. Accepting flaws, failures and apologies become more natural when December is upon us. Rekindling friendships, overcoming family disputes, reminding us all that we are human and can learn from our mistakes and can do better in the future, that’s what you provide December.
And all of the love — the true unconditional kind that only December can bring. While this year it may be from afar, December challenges us to hold our embrace with each other a little longer, pick up the phone just to check in, and never stop reminding those close to us just how much we love and appreciate them. In December, we feel that connection and affirmation and it is a lot easier to pass it along.
I am so thankful for you, December, and your reminder to give thanks for all that we have around us. With gratitude and grateful hearts, our eyes are opened to all that we have — little reminders from you, December, that life is so very good and we are so very blessed.
We needed you this year, December. We need you every year. In fact, we need you all the time. If only the warmth, joy and love you bring could last all year round.
Oh, But it can.
Because truly, it’s not the month or time of year that makes this season so special. While many of us were so eager to get this season started thriving on the distraction of the holiday around us, it is easy to get caught up in the material parts that make up this time of year. It’s not Santa, presents, light shows and decorations. Oh, do those things bring to life the season!
But, while doing so, remember the reason of this season — and every season of life: the birth of one babe, the welcoming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
This year, we are leaning on this distraction of the holiday to save us, to pull us out of the rut of an amazingly awful eight months. But maybe, we should be focusing on more than that distraction. Maybe, we need to really bring light and focus to the One who will save us the whole year through.
May you and your family feel the true glory of the season and always remember the reason not just during this month, but for the months to come.
Now, I invite you to go back and reread this column and insert “Jesus” every time that I use the word “December.”
And bring on Jesus!
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.