After the Tree Comes Down: Keeping Christmas in the Ordinary
- Jason Soroski jasonsoroski.wordpress.com
- 2016 6 Jan
Well, here we are. The New Year excitement has come and gone, which brings us back to January and back to Ordinary. Back to shaky resolutions, back to school, and back to life after the holiday hustle.
Tonight I walked down to the end of the driveway, and I felt a certain sadness tugging at me. It is likely that you may have felt it too. A chill lingers in the January air, but the glowing wreaths, snowmen, manger scenes, ornaments and candy canes that adorned our street just days ago are all but gone, a few procrastinators notwithstanding. The lights that glimmered, danced, and illuminated the night are now being packed away in the corner of the garage for another year, and the world is back to normal. Back to plain, dark, and ordinary.
Just ordinary. In fact, according to the church liturgical calendar, the 12 Days of Christmas, also known as Christmastide, are quickly followed by Epiphany, and then the time until Lent is known simply as "Ordinary."
Wow. Really? Just... Ordinary?
I guess ordinary is the best way to describe these early days while the year is still taking shape. But it occurs to me that ordinary can still be a good thing.
If you are like me, you have seen at least one film version of A Christmas Carol more than a few times. After his encounters with the spirits, Ebenezer Scrooge makes a big promise: "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." Which sounds great, but what does it mean? Does it mean keeping the lights up? Does it mean keeping up the tree? Does it mean keeping the Rudolph nose on the car and going-a-wassialing among the leaves-so-green?
But it is more practical and more realistic to keep Christmas...
...by viewing life through a lens of eternity.
...by refusing to forget the miracle of God in a manger.
...by considering Christmas as more than just a day, but rather as a mindset; a way of life.
...by learning to number our days and seek wisdom as we go.
...by allowing that wisdom to forever change who we are.
...by being polite and giving and charitable even when we don't feel like it. Especially when we don't feel like it.
...by seeking peace on earth, good will to men.
...by starting and ending each day with a prayer of thanks, and by doing unto others as you would have done unto you.
...by allowing the spirit of Christmas to invade our Ordinary and forever change it into something new and better until Ordinary takes on a new meaning.
Ordinary becomes a fulfillment.
Ordinary becomes joy.
Ordinary becomes sharing cheer and wearing a smile when no one else knows why.
Until Ordinary slowly becomes something as wonderful and glowing as Christmas, just without the tree.
As a writer and musician, Jason Soroski strives to communicate in a way that is insightful, meaningful, relevant, and mindful of the small things that we may otherwise overlook in our everyday lives. He effectively taps into his experiences as a worship pastor, classroom teacher, husband, and homeschooling father of five to relate poignant stories from real-life experiences. Jason holds an M.Ed. from Missouri Baptist University, has been featured in various print and web publications, and currently resides in Houston, TX. Read more from Jason at his blog The Way I See It.
Publication date: January 6, 2016