John Alan Turner

Writer, Theologian, Consultant, Speaker, Teacher

Christmas Is Coming

In case you haven't noticed, Christmas is coming. Starbucks is playing their continuous loop of holiday music (have you ever heard what you would consider a "good" rendition of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"?), houses are decorated with strings of lights and inflatable snowmen, traffic is especially bad around the mall and people feel completely comfortable wearing Santa hats and sweaters with reindeer stitched on them. Ah, 'tis the season.

Now, when you hear the phrase, "Christmas is coming," most of us start to hyperventilate. We're 2 1/2 weeks away, folks. The countdown has begun. I still don't have a tree or any decorations. We've barely begun shopping. We don't have our plans in place -- don't know what we're getting my Dad (he's always the hardest) or my Mom. My sister and brother-in-law are coming from northern California. We don't know what we're going to eat or when or where.

Anyone ready to panic?

Here's the amazing thing about Christmas: It comes. Ready or not, here it comes. Whether I panic or push or prepare everything meticulously -- Christmas comes. Just like it did way back when, Christmas doesn't need much help from us. There was no parade at the first Christmas. There wasn't much of a fuss. As far as we know, there wasn't even a midwife to help usher in the little life that would bring so much hope to the world. Without any assistance from the powers-that-were, Christmas just showed up.

There's nothing wrong with going shopping or planning a fantastic Christmas dinner. There's absolutely nothing wrong with making a list and checking it twice. Unless it gets in the way of you experiencing the joy of the season. Unless it actually robs you of the peace that this Christchild came to bring.

So, let's all take a deep breath and remember: Regardless of what we do or do not get accomplished...Christmas is coming -- thank God.