How many words will you speak or hear today? How many will you read? How many of those words are important or rejuvenating or love-filled or even simply for fun? How many are the opposite of those things?
I’ve been feeling wrung out lately, not for any one particular reason, but this season and its never-ending to-do lists seem to be piling on me more than usual, and the cracks are starting to show. I think some of you may be able to relate.
Let’s start with a look at the email inbox. Since yesterday morning alone, I’ve received 60 emails with urgent Christmas subject lines, such as:
- Stuffing Stockings? (Why, yes, I am, but not with anything you’re offering.)
- 12 Days of Savings (and its cousin 10th Day of Wonder)
- Hours Left! (I got three of these in a row from three different retailers in the span of 20 minutes this afternoon.)
- Last Day! (Oh, do you promise? I actually don’t believe you anymore, because you’ll just send me one that says “Extended” tomorrow. You’ve been doing that a lot lately, you know. I find your words empty and meaningless now.)
- 7 Days ‘Til Christmas … Don’t Panic! (Your use of capital letters and an exclamation point and the word panic don’t cause my blood pressure to rise at all.)
- National Free Shipping Day (This is a thing now? When did this become a thing?)
- We outfitted the reindeer with running spikes (Okay – those of you who don’t run probably haven’t seen this one, but I’m curious how many of you runners out there have seen something along these lines?)
Sometime after Christmas, after the house guests have headed home and the refrigerator is starting to look more normal again and the afternoons offer opportunities for reading and naps and movies, I may spend a few minutes unsubscribing from some of the more obnoxious abusers of my inbox.
Retailers – don’t say I didn’t warn you. Just because The 12 Days of Christmas is a popular song doesn’t give you permission to fill my inbox every single day for 12 days just because you think it’s cute to pester me that much. That song specifically talks about my true love, and you, retailers, are not my true love. If I’m hearing from you more than I’m hearing from my closest friends, you’re talking too much!
So, my dear readers, take a deep breath and sit back for a moment. The Word is coming and is so much more important than all the other small -w words out there:
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
– John 1:14
Let this beautiful verse sink in and saturate your heart and rinse out all the other words that are weighing you down. The Word is coming. Can you find a way to enjoy that fundamental, simple truth? The Word is all that matters at Christmas.
A simple nativity that I photographed at a friend’s house earlier this week. Simply Mary, Joseph and the Word made flesh.
Let me leave you with two simple words and an exclamation point meant to indicate joy, not panic: Merry Christmas!