“Lump of Coal ???”

As a kid, I used to hear, “if you’re not good, you’re going to get a lump of coal for Christmas”…. “Oh no……. not a lump of coal”.  (Getting a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking traditionally means that Santa Claus thinks you’ve been misbehaving.)  Well this year we’re not so much worried about getting a lump of coal, as not getting together with our loved ones. 

The planning for Christmas is getting more and more complicated with the proverbial “Covid Scrooge” sneaking around. How many can come to Christmas dinner…. should we all get a test or quarantine before we come…. what about those coming from out of town….. shall we bring our masks….

It’s easy to move from an attitude of “wow, I can’t wait for the wonderful Christmas celebration with the great food, seeing loved ones, opening presents, having a glass or two of really good wine…to a certain anxiety about “the virus”. 

What should we do about all of this? Well, we first need to continue our preparation for the great feast of Christmas by entering fully into Advent….we still have two weeks left. Let’s not allow anxiety to steal our Advent.

Secondly, let’s pray and ask the Lord for guidance about “getting together”. Let’s discuss the topic in peace. Let’s not present ourselves as the “font of wisdom”….ie. “hey, listen to me I’m the expert… I just read an article by that great medical team of Dr. Moe & Curly Howard and Larry Fine, and they say if you rub dirt in your hair and dance around on one leg, you won’t be contagious.” Hmmmmm.

In truth each of us has had different experiences of the virus…some pretty serious and even tragic; while others have not been sick and hardly know anyone who has been sick other than with some mild symptoms. Let’s remember that there is still a lot of “fog” regarding this thing… just when it seems to be ending, it pops up again…just when it seems that all the cases are mild, someone gets really sick. So, let’s have some calm discussions together about getting together. I’m still not sure what our family is doing. 

I love our Christmas celebrations where we often have a really big chunk of our family together…lots of grandchildren, presents, food that’s out of this world. Yet, I’m not sure how it’s going to sort out…but… hopefully a good many of us will be able to celebrate together. 

Let’s pray that the Lord helps us to sort this out and that in the end, this is the best Christmas we’ve ever experienced. Why not? God is bigger than any problems we face. Let’s not allow the devil to ruin this great time of the year. And let’s not worry about getting a “lump of coal”… I think the Lord has some very special gifts prepared for us.

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