Today is Christmas Eve. I’m sitting in Max Porter’s coffee shop, with my sister Amy, working on my book. I’m not sure what she’s working on, but our laptops match, only mine is pink and hers is purple.
I ignore the Christmas music in the background, but maybe I shouldn’t. I am, after all, writing about Christmas. Last Christmas, while I was still traveling. But Christmas nonetheless.
Finishing that chapter, I pull my earbuds out of my ears. “What should I blog about, Amy?”
“Maybe you should give the Gospel message,” she says in a dreamy, over-dramatic voice.
“I know what you mean,” I sigh. “It feels like I should end this series with something very Spiritual and Deep. But I don’t know if I have any Spiritual, Deep thoughts about Christmas that haven’t already been said.”
But then I try to think of some anyway.
The song switches. “O Come O Come Emmanuel” begins to play.
As you may have noticed from earlier blog posts, I’m not a big fan of Christmas music. It’s not that I dislike it. I don’t mind it playing in the background for added festivity. But a lot of it is silly and doesn’t make sense.
However, I was struck this year by the song “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”
If I could write the final Blogmas post of my dreams, I would write about the season of Advent. I would write about the song “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” and the longing expressed therein.
I would write about how maybe the reason Christmas feels different when we grow older is that we are so much more aware, as Alison so eloquently put it, of the loss that is in this world. Of family members that have passed on. Or of children we wish we had, but don’t.
When we all gather together on Christmas Day, we’re aware of what our relationships with our family members should be like. And when we don’t have the relationship we want to have, we feel that loss.
This year I was determined that I was going to study Advent, and figure out what it was all about, and celebrate it. Because sometimes it feels like adulthood is about waiting. For a spouse. For children. For your career to take shape. For your relationships to be okay. And isn’t Advent all about learning to wait well? Waiting with hope, faith, and joy, and peace, and preparation?
So I did some Googling, and I learned some information. But honestly I still felt a bit lost. I didn’t start studying it until the first week of Advent, which was also the week of the school Christmas program, so I didn’t have a lot of extra time.
And this lack of study also means that now, when I wish to write on such topics, I don’t know what to say.
If you have books, articles, websites, etc related to Advent that you’d like to recommend, I’d be happy for some tips. Maybe with a year of study, instead of a week in intermittent Googling, I’ll know enough to do an Advent series next year instead of a 12 Days of Blogmas series.
As it stands, I don’t have the words to end this blog series the way I’d like to end it.
So I’ll just say, Merry Christmas everybody.
Emmanuel has come.