Buy all the food. Cook all the food. Turkey+ham+stuffing=coma. Gravy on everything, including cranberry sauce. Football till you pass out. Up at 5AM for all the sales. College football til you pass out. #Saturdayisbutafadingdream. Then lets talk about baby Jesus.
Anybody hurt? Everybody ok?
A friend of mine posted on Facebook, “Thanksgiving…the day when we are thankful for having so much, and eat like we will never have any more.”
For most of us it starts with weird uncles pulling buffalo nickels out of the ears of 11-year olds and who say the best and most inappropriate things. That leads into awkward family meals, fights for crescent rolls and an afternoon food coma while we watch football. We say prayers of Thanksgiving, post on Facebook and twitter, we slip into various levels of sincerity with those posts and prayers and it’s a good day.
Then we get up at 4AM and spend a portion of our life savings on bigger TVs and bigger pants, on the new iMaynotreallyneedthis or S-biggernumberandbiggerscreen, possibly purchasing a handful of Christmas gifts for others in the process (perhaps the only redeeming quality of the day).
Merely hours after expressing our eternal gratitude for everything we have, we spend whatever we have left on things we don’t yet have. But it’s ok, in just 364 days we’ll be thankful for it all again. Aren’t we a funny bunch?
Let’s not forget Small Business Saturday. Except there’s hardly any money left after Black Friday, so most of us do.
And then it’s the first Sunday of Advent. O Come All Ye Faithful. Stand in a row, clasp hands and sing in three-and-a-half-part harmony. A lovely family does the Advent reading and it’s sooooo cute when the little boy/girl says “Beflahem”.
What a marathon of, well, everything. It seems a bit paradoxical, doesn’t it? A day to give thanks, another couple to get more stuff, and then we go to church.
I, for one, think it’s perfect.
Not the fights breaking out over Blu-ray players and tablets, that’s not perfect. Certainly not the mass gluttony followed by the casual throwing away of tons of perfectly good food, that’s not perfect either. Nothing good ever happens at 4AM, not perfect.
But it’s a perfect place to start the Advent story. Because if we need to be saved from anything, it’s from ourselves. And that’s what Advent is about. That’s what our own journeys come down to. Where are we headed? What are we looking for?
IF the stable is where you’re headed, it’s my prayer for you that crowds and the craziness do not deter you.
IF it’s the star that you follow, it is my prayer for you that time and distance will not hinder you on the journey.
IF it’s your gifts that you wish to give Him, it’s my prayer for you that they are pure and complete when you leave them.
And IF it’s the baby that you seek, it’s my prayer for you that all else around you fades and that you are completely captured by the wonder of what this child really means.