These words serenade us as we hurriedly drive to Black Friday sales, school recitals, and holiday parties. They croon in our living rooms as we decorate our Christmas tree. We hum them in the midst of the baking, shopping, traffic, and crammed schedules. It’s easy to begin to wonder, Is it REALLY the most wonderful time of the year?
Yesterday, in the midst of back-to-back book fair events shepherding hundreds of children through tables filled with lovely books, it WAS the most wonderful time of year! I did not experience it in the perfect gift or decoration or even in the hustle and bustle of children dressed in holiday gear. I found it in a shared smile, a funny comment, a genuine question, and a moment of real listening to another. These brief moments of shared humanity brought a genuine smile to my face. As the hurriedness was set aside, we entered a moment of “seeing” each other with full attention. These simple interactions that lasted only 30 seconds filled my heart, making this the most wonderful time of the year.
The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year. I love the decorations, the baking, the songs, and the gift-giving; however, it is so easy to feel the stress and forget the actual purpose of all the activities. Christmas is a holy-day (holiday) to celebrate the greatest gift of all time, Jesus. He embraced humanity and regularly connected one-on-one to give the greatest gift – love. “We love because He first loved us” (I John 4:9) is a foundational principle of Book Drive for Kids. When we are tired, it is this truth that provides the “Why” to all our effort. We are rewarded in these simple exchanges of love – an excited whoop, a shy smile, or a warm heart.
May you experience a truly Wonderful Time of the Year!!