|This will get down to double zero before you know it!|
A few years back there was a knock at my door. An apparent local high school student. Apparently selling something. I opened the door. He is fundraising for high school band by selling Christmas (note to liberal readers: please insert "holiday" whenever you see Christmas so that you won't be offended) items door-to-door via a catalog.
I like Christmas, a lot, so I'm sold and I haven't bought anything yet! I look through the catalog and I find a Santa Claus figure holding a proportionately large Christmas-wrapped box with the caption "Days 'Til Christmas" and a countdown dial. That's what I ordered, along with maybe some wrapping paper.
When the figurine arrived, I found that the countdown went all the way up to 99, compared to some Christmas countdowns that only go to 25 (as in December 25, I suppose). Nice. So I wondered when I'd have to start counting down if I started with day 99.
Today is the day! September 17 is 99 days until Christmas! It could also be sunset on September 16 for those like me who consider Christmas Eve to be the beginning of Christmas.
Therefore, the countdown to Christmas is officially on! In terms of weeks, 14 weeks and 1 day.
If you are a plan ahead person, this is as good of a time as any to start making your lists and checking them twice! Here are some things I'm wondering for my family and me:
- Do we have a suitable photo for our annual Christmas card?
- What's our shopping list this year and for whom? What is the budget?
- Scheduling and travel?
- Cookies - how much and how healthy?
- Alternatives to cookies? Example: Kale is green. Green is a Christmas color. Kale cookies!
- Company Christmas party?
- Rehearsing music for Christmas songs (I'm falling way short)
- What am I forgetting?
If you are a last minute person, opportunity to make a change is knocking! (just like the high school fundraiser) You've got 99 days! What can you do today to replace stress with eager anticipation this December?
Until now, I've been emphasizing the American Cultural Christmas. In my world, there is much value in some aspects of what happens during the end of December.
- There are extended family get-togethers that enable me to visit with others whom I haven't seen since last December. (Bonus - this year a niece I haven't met yet!)
- School has an extended break time.
- Work slows down and has a lot less pressure.
- Sappy movies with happy endings.
- Christmas presents! Both giving and receiving!
- Happy kids.
As much as I love those things, though, there is a foundation that makes them worthwhile.
Once upon a time the Creator of the universe invaded time and space in the person of Jesus, lived the perfect life we could never live, and took the punishment for our sins, and rose from the dead to prove both the sufficiency of his sacrifice and his Deity.
Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born the in the likeness of men, And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:6-11 ESV)That's something to get excited about today and every day.