Thrill of Hope
There are so many beautiful Advent hymns, Christmas carols, and even some secular songs that classically make up what we listen to during these seasons. My favorite Christmas carol is "O Holy Night." Lines such as, "a thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices," set the tone for what Advent is all about. Christ is coming to us at Christmas with all His love, all His joy, all His life. And we, though often weary with the weight of worldly cares, can take this season of preparation to refocus on where we are headed.
The commercialism and materialism grows each year. Let's be real. I for one saw Christmas trees set up the day after Halloween. My friends, I ask myself why is this? Sometimes people need the holiday cheer so much that they put up decorations right away, or they will be traveling for most of the holiday season and take advantage of having things arranged early. Sure, that's valid, but equally valid is choosing to wait. There's a sacredness to waiting, which shows a spirit of endurance and patience and perseverance that something or Someone is worth waiting for, is worth preparing for.
Waiting for Christmas gives us this "thrill of hope." Hope is a willingness to wait with expectancy, knowing and trusting that what we hope for will be fulfilled. For once we receive the gift we hoped for, we are filled with praise and gratitude. Taking Christmas (or anything for that matter) before its time often leads to dissatisfaction once its here and breeds a certain tiredness to the season. Whereas receiving with joy what we waited for, centers us on Him and points to the eternal happiness that awaits us in heaven.