Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas is Coming...Even in Haiti.

Is it really Christmas-time?  It’s hard to tell here.  It’s 80 degrees and sunny.  There’s no cold wind or snow.  No one bustling about in their coats, hats, and mittens.  There’s no need for those adorable scarves I’m seeing on my North American facebook friends...  There are no shopping malls all lit up with tinsel and twinkling lights, with Salvation Army bell ringers ringing away at the doors.  My kids won’t be watching at the frosty door for loved ones to arrive. My neighborhood is not aglow after dark with bright lights in all colors and styles.  There’s no fire in the fireplace and I don’t feel like cocooning inside layers of cozy blankets when I crawl into bed at night.
Naomy blowing bubbles in the sunshine yesterday.
For the most part, I can’t tell that Christmas is coming in Haiti.  

To give credit, I did see a Christmas tree in a little market store the other day.  And, there was a decorated tree in the Haitian church we worshipped in last week.  Our missionary neighbors have their home decorated--nativity and all--and our kids got to make Christmas cookies a few days ago.  The sounds of rehearsing for the Christmas program at school have been delightful, too!

I go back and forth between missing all the lights and Christmas “buzz” back at home and feeling a little... I dunno... relieved--is that the word?--yes, relieved that I don’t have to endure the onslaught of commercialism, Black Friday violence, and over-the-top Christmas chaos.  I don’t have lists of gifts to buy and wrap and I’m not scrambling to put together fancy cards to send out to friends and family (sorry, everyone--it’s just too complicated to get done from here!).
Danielle's drawing--as you can see, she remembers what last Christmas looked like!
We get to make this Christmas our own and we get to focus on the reason we celebrate it in the first place.  We borrowed a string of lights and a 12 inch tree from our friends.  We made some ornaments from cardstock that are hanging from the ceiling in the family room.  Our advent calendar and study are ready to go for December 1.  We have been pouring over uplifting messages from friends and family, reading Christmas-y books together in the evenings and drinking hot chocolate whenever the temperatures dip low enough to make it enjoyable.  We play all kinds of Christmas music from our laptops as much as possible.

And in the moments when this season feels too quiet, I’m trying to remember that it must have been this quiet long ago just before Jesus arrived as a babe.  No one knew what was coming except for maybe Mary and Joseph.  There was no excitement, no celebration, no “hustle and bustle.”  

Sometimes, calm and quiet isn’t so bad.  I have a feeling this Christmas will still somehow be remembered as a very special one.

Isaiah 9:6-7  “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.