By Rev. James L. Snyder
It was a wise person who divided the year into 12 months. I really do not know who came up with this idea but let me go on record in saying that it was a good one. Each month seems to have its own peculiar value. Some months are better than others.
For example, I am not a member of January’s fan club. I am not sure if it is the longest month of the year but at times, it sure seems to be. I mean, after all of the excitement typically leading up to the month of January, is it any wonder it seems to be such a dull month.
I could say many things about some of the other months of the year but I really have to say that my favorite month of the year has to be December. Maybe this goes back to when I was a youngster and looked forward to the Christmas holiday. I am not sure because the Christmas holiday does not hold that much of a fascination for me. I think it began to wane when I had to foot the bill for all of the Christmas activity.
I do not love December because of the shopping. Right after Thanksgiving the shopping frenzy begins and this year several people lost their lives. Is it crazy to go out shopping like this when everybody else is out there with the fierce intent of buying something and you had better not get in his or her way? On the other hand, do all the crazy people go shopping?
Well, I am one crazy person that does not go out and join the rest. I just do not like shopping. The month of December is one of the high shopping months of the year. It did not get the reputation because of my shopping activity.
This past week the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage asked me if I wanted to join her in a shopping spree. Without thinking, which is my normal modus operandi, I said, “I’d rather be punched in the nose.”
When I came to, I pondered the fact that my wife is so literal when I am trying to be metaphorical. My nose is doing nicely, thank you.
Therefore, I do not like shopping. The month of December is more than extravagant shopping with crazy people.
One of my favorite songs of the season is, “Tis the season to be jolly.” I like jolly. During the Christmas season, everybody enjoys seeing jolly people. I like to exploit the jolliness of my nature. I may not be Santa, but I sure could pass as his twin brother. Do not think I have not exploited that part of my character.
During the holiday season in the month of December, nobody bothers about your weight. In fact, everybody seems to enjoy seeing the jolly old man who is slightly overweight. I cannot tell you how many times when out in public during the month of December the people come up to me and said, “Here’s my list. Don’t forget me.” At first, I did not quite understand what they were doing. Now as they place that sacred list in my hand I look at them and say, “Ho, ho, ho.” Everybody seems to enjoy that.
Of course, it can go too far. One time after my Santa impression, I happened to sit down and before long, there was a line of youngsters wanting to sit on my lap. I have since retired my Santa impression, especially when in public.
What I like about December is that nobody, and when I say nobody I am referencing my wife, worries about diets. All year long, my wife is faithful in reminding me, “That’s not on your diet. Put it down.” I would say it is like a broken record but nobody knows what a record is anymore let alone a broken one.
During the holiday in December she is too busy baking pies and cookies for relatives and friends to think about my diet. Oh, how I love December.
Perchance somebody in the course of a conversation brings up the subject of diets; the month of December is a great ready-made excuse for me.
“I start my diet,” I say with the upmost confidence to anybody inquiring, “next month.”
It is amazing to me that “next month” is never December. And so, during the month of December I only look forward to my diet. It would be wrong, absolutely wrong, to begin a diet in December. If a person would do that, what do they do for a New Year’s resolution?
The month of December is a time to relax and just enjoy the season. By enjoying the season, I am thinking of those delicious Christmas cookies baking in the oven, in the kitchen, in my presence. It would be a shame not to taste one. After all, what if they were no good? What if this batch of cookies, baking in the oven right now, turned out to be bad? It is my patriotic duty to ensure that those Christmas cookies are delicious.
For me, December is a very sacred purpose. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV).
My purpose is to exploit the entire month of December.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.