The pressure is mounting. The clock has started. The seconds, minutes, hours till the holidays arrive. There is no turning back.
The weight of things to do, and doing them exactly right, can be overwhelming.
Cleaning the house
Getting all the ingredients
Pulling out all those decorations
Cooking all the traditional dishes
Being sensitive to food allergies
Getting everything to the table on time
And with this year, another weight is thrown on top of everything else.
Who is, or isn’t vaccinated?
Did they get the booster yet?
Does anyone look or feel sick?
How do they feel about people of the other opinion?
Are they going to make a big deal about it?
Remember last holiday season? If you can’t, it’s because there wasn’t one. Thanksgiving and Christmas were pretty much cancelled. People were strongly encouraged to stay home. Family meals and gatherings were put on the shelf over health concerns and possible infections.
This year, because holiday celebrations are returning, expectations are higher than ever before. People want to make up for the lost holiday season. They feel like they are owed it, they deserve it. There were no traditional holiday feasts, and there is a hole in their stomachs, not to mention the hole in their souls, that they desperately want to make up for.
All of this adds up to additional weight and pressure on the people who are preparing these celebrations.
So, let’s treat them like we want to be treated. With kindness and a willingness to help. And if the meal is late, or everything isn’t piping hot, let’s take a breath and give them a break.
So then you are no longer strangers or people far away. But you live with God's people and belong to God's family.
We were far away last year, and we’re back with them this year. So, let’s treat them like family this year.