David danced before the Lord with all his might . . . (2 Samuel 6:14a, NRSV)
I was recently enjoying a socially distanced Happy Hour with a good friend. I really do not remember how it came up, but our server said something about the New Year approaching. We both laughed and said that it would likely be a very low-key New Year’s Eve, but all three of us expressed our desire for 2021 to be better than 2020. Then my rather exuberant friend burst out with “All I know, is that in 2021, I am going to celebrate everything!”
I cannot and will not argue with that. I have close friends who theme their Christmas every year and this year’s theme is “Upside-Down Christmas” complete with an upside-down Christmas tree. I have another set of friends who have poignantly begun decorating their Christmas tree with framed pictures of loved ones and close friends. I found myself almost choked with emotion as they showed me black-and-white pictures of their parents, who are now deceased, when I stopped by for a recent visit.
It is so tempting to not fully embrace the spirit or the magic of Christmas this year, isn’t it? I have my annual traditions: baking the cookies my mom always made when I was growing up, watching It’s a Wonderful Life, driving through Victoria Park to see the lights, and walking through the spectacular displays at the Botanical Gardens.
But my favorite Christmas tradition is worshiping at church, all day with you, my beloved congregation. And making it home around midnight, popping some champagne, watching the Pope give his Christmas message from Vatican City (because he’s about the only thing on television at that time of night), and falling asleep exhausted, but happy. This will be the first Christmas Eve that I have been anywhere but church my entire life.
The Christmas of 2020 will be unlike any other. But perhaps I need to take the lead of my friend and “celebrate everything!” Care to join me?
For restaurant servers working on holidays and away from their loved ones
Loving God, help me celebrate everything. Amen.