Letters to Tom — Anticipation

Dear Tom:

Around this time of year excitement permeates the air? When we were children we would scream Christmas is coming! Our house started smelling like pies, and fruit cakes, and all kinds of goodies being made in the kitchen. I used to love driving around with my dad at night looking to see who had their Christmas lights up yet. I couldn’t wait for us to get the tree, decorate it, and those first packages started appearing under the tree. Advent was a time of anticipation, excitement, and watching. Frederick Buechner’s description of Advent rings true. He said, “ Advent is like a hush in the theater before the curtain rises. It is like the hazy ring around the winter moon that means
the coming of snow which will turn the night to silver.”

When I played football, basketball, baseball, etc. there was always that moment right before the game when I could feel the excitement taking over my whole body. Christmas time was also like that. The anticipation took control of me, going to sleep was harder, time seemed to creep, and I had to sit on my hands to keep from tearing packages that had “To: Webb” on the tag. Well, I haven’t changed a lot since I was a kid. I still shout Christmas is coming!, but when no one is around. I still love the smells of Christmas, and I don’t mean the candle. I love packages, but I have learned it is much more fun to be the giver than the recipient. I love to give my family and friends Christmas presents.

All this excitement, all this anticipation, and all this spirit of love and fellowship, and it happens every year. How special it all is, and its primary focus is on an event that happened over 2000 years ago. An event that has already occurred. But perhaps not totally. Remember Advent means “coming.” True, our anticipation may be centered on the immediate and the material, but a little bit of the anticipation, a little bit of the excitement, and a little bit of the feeling that we are just about to burst out of the locker room and on to the field, is that other part of Christmas. That part that sometime get lost in the pageants and the presents. The greatest gift still sits under the tree, unopened — Christ will come again. He came to us as a child in humility, but he will come again to us in glorious majesty. What a day that will be. What a unimaginable Christmas day that will be.

Your friend, Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

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