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Light the Candles

The Guideposts executive editor shares why Christmas decorations gets him in the holiday spirit.

I put the candles in the window this weekend. For some reason I’d been resisting the approach of Christmas, as if I held off on putting out the Advent calendar and the crèche or buying a Christmas tree, I might be allowed a few more days of Christmas shopping. 

Then all of the sudden it hit me: Christmas would come whether I was ready or not! I had to buy something for my goddaughter and put it in the mail, and then there were all the relatives in California. I needed time to get something for them, wrap it and ship it out (I love ordering online, but I prefer to do the wrapping myself. As though my usual bad wrapping job makes it more personal…). 

Friday coming home, I looked at our dark windows. “You need to get out the candles now,” I told myself. I took down the box from the top of the hall closet, tested the light bulbs, found the extension cords. When I turned those candles on there was something in me that said, “I’m ready.”   

What I’m ready for is that rebirth of the spirit, that welcoming of God, that is at the center of this wonderful, crazy, busy, hectic season. I’m opening myself up, preparing my heart, looking for love, praying for those in pain and sorrow and saying, “Come, Lord, come.” He couldn’t be needed any more than he is now. 

How ‘bout you? Have you put up your decorations yet? Just a little something to get the spirit ready for bigger things to come.

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor at GUIDEPOSTS.

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