“It’s the most wonderful time… of the year!”

Some of you are singing along and swaying ever so slightly, and the rest of you are either rolling your eyes or pulling your hair out! ‘Tis the season of festive frenzy and Christmas craziness- you love it or hate it, embrace or avoid it. But like it or not… it’s coming!

I’m a lover of all things Christmas, and this weekend we took a trip to the Vancouver big city to get in some shopping (very successful, though I say so myself!), take in the wonderfully Christmassy atmosphere that oozes from everywhere downtown, and the highlight- our first Cirque du Soleil performance.

Of course, I knew it was going to be good- thousands of people can’t all be wrong, but I was absolutely blown away by the whole experience. It was a feast for the senses- almost too much to absorb all in one sitting.

I was always a tad freaked out by circuses as a child- the unpredictability of the elephants (I read Dumbo too many times), the fear of high-flying acrobats dropping to their deaths, and quite honestly- I tend to have issues with clowns. But Cirque’s “Amaluna” was on a different scale completely.

We saw perfectly synchronized unicyclists, extraordinary acrobats, fearless flying dancers and gymnasts, outstanding live music, magnificent costumes, a contortionist who did things I never imagined humanly possible, underwater tricks, incredible juggling, an astounding balancing act, amusing (and not too scary) clowns, all tied together telling a love story.

It reminded me of Christmas!

For many of us, the lead up to Christmas is very much a circus- we become experts in juggling a gazillion things which HAVE to be done, we dance our way around the mall- sometimes involving major acrobatics, we use our contortionist skills to wrap twenty gifts at once, we provide carols, food and entertainment for all, throw in a few “clown moments” for good measure, and there we have it- our own Christmas circus.

But wait- what about the love story which ties it all together?

I’m guilty of neglect- and if  you’re perfectly honest, the vast majority of you are with me- I get so enthralled and wrapped up in all the other aspects of Christmas, the real reason for the celebration, God’s love story, is a mere side-act at best. God’s gift to us, His perfect Son, Jesus- He needs to be center stage. Not just at out Christmas church service, but He should be woven seamlessly throughout our preparations for the celebration.

On our minds, in our hearts.

I wish you joy as you partake in the build up to the celebration of the birth of our Savior. Have fun at your circus, however elaborate or simple it might be.

Just remember to leave room for center stage…