Her eyes sparkled as she looked up at me, “Can you wait for me?” she whispered, trying not to wake her daddy. “Don’t start the Christmas music without me.”
I nodded. “Meet me downstairs,” I whispered back, conspiratorially. “I’ll make my coffee.” She skipped to her room for her slippers.
I reminisced as I waited for my coffee. The day after Thanksgiving. I can still see Pappy bending over his old stereo cabinet. He loved this day. He loved starting the Christmas music and reveling in the anticipation of all this season would hold.
He sits alone in a nursing home today unable to even listen to music, and tears sprung to my eyes as I thought about how lonely he must be… how much he is missing.
My heart ached. The bitter howl of Advent rang in my heart.
Bella girl sneaked down the stairs to meet me. She snuggled on my lap and tucked her head on my shoulder as I pushed all the right keys and icons on our computer to bring up 2 days worth of Christmas music. I hit random play and waited to see what would start.
Oh, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute…
She turned her head quizzically, “I’ve never heard this one. Or at least I don’t remember it.” She listened a little bit longer, then said, “Can you find a real Christmas song?”
“What do you mean?” I laughed.
“You know, one about Jesus.”
The ache in my heart turned to a gentle quietness. Yes. This is the answer to the howl of Advent.
The true meaning of it all.
I still love all those old sentimental secular songs about Christmas. I love all the traditions and can’t wait to go get our tree tomorrow and decorate the house. I love watching their eyes sparkle in anticipation. I love wrapping presents and going to parties and celebrating. I love listening to music non-stop… music that sings of family, of home, of joy, of love, of Jesus.
I still ache when I think of Pappy… of Nanny… of how life is for them. But a gentle quiet comes when I think of how life will be for them.
Of the joy, peace, hope and love that Advent means.
The howl is still there. Some days it’s so loud it’s all I hear… other days it’s quiet, but always there is hope.
Because, yes, we need a little Christmas… a whole lot of Christmas… and a whole lot of Easter, too.
And He has met that need.
He has come.
He has conquered sin and death.
He is alive.
He is coming again to make all things new.
Let the music begin… and may it ring in my heart all year round.