In my mind, holidays are for getting away from normal, everyday life, even from valuable things, to enjoy something also of value. Perhaps a holiday is a trip to a special place we long to visit, maybe for the first and only time. Maybe, it is to a customary place like a second home or another spot we return to year after year. Holidays might be a time to be with people who are dear to us including family or friends. These getaway times might also be to just chill out on our own, a time to kick back and rest.
This word “holiday” comes to us from Old English where it is written hāligdæg, (which is a clue why Old English isn’t in vogue much these days!). Its meaning is readily apparent in our modern English form of the word: holi-day. The root words are “holy” and “day.”
There is no time the significance of “holiday” should be more apparent than in our anticipation of Christmas. Everything that leads up to Christmas, each of us with our own traditions and with new elements as they come in any particular year, helps to create experiences and memories that can lodge in our minds and hearts with rich meaning. Within all that Christmas brings, it can be easy to miss the holy, the reflection on God’s gracious presence with us.
It will be Christmas in just a week. Knowing our holy-day is just seven days away, perhaps we could take a few minutes each day between now and then to reflect on the wonder of God’s coming so long ago. I encourage you to set aside a few minutes (or more!) each of the next six days to give thought to who Jesus is, who you are and what God might ask of you this Christmas, the greatest holiday of the year.
Anticipating Christmas in these remote days,