I have a cute Christmas tree day counter on my computer desktop that says it is 6 days until Christmas. House decorated? Christmas cards sent? Shopping done? Presents wrapped? Baking finished? Menus planned? Parties attended? Normally, at this point in the month, I can check off all those boxes – but not this time. I spent many hours in the past months preparing for Christmas this year. But God had other plans for me. In Ecclesiastes 3, we read:

1 For everything there is a season,

a time for every activity under heaven.

2 A time to be born and a time to die.

A time to plant and a time to harvest.

3 A time to kill and a time to heal.

A time to tear down and a time to build up.

4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.

A time to grieve and a time to dance.

Grief has consumed the month yet Christmas is coming. Three little granddaughters are arriving at the end of the week and Nana is not ready. However, Advent means more than all the trappings of this season – it is all about remembering the coming of the baby Jesus. My dad returned with us and I must choose what is important and which activities to schedule for a happy and joyous time for our family. It won’t help anyone if I am frazzled, frustrated and cranky in an effort to complete the usual holiday preparations. Some things just won’t be done and I trust that God will show me what He wants us to do to honor the birthday of the King. Those same three little girls have the legacy of a great grandmother who loved the Savior and knew the true meaning of Christmas. Our celebration will be tinged with sorrow this year, but we know that Jesus’ birth signaled new life for all of us and a time to dance will come.