Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Confession

Every year I think I'm going to do Christmas better.  

I'll get my shopping done earlier.
I'll make more gifts.
I'll send out a Thanksgiving letter instead of a Christmas card.
I'll decorate with what I love and purge what I don't.
I'll have more people over.

And there will be peace, and joy, and cookies for everyone, right?

But in the real world, we have a weekend SAREX campout (seriously, who plans this in cold, dark northern latitudes in December?), choir practice, CAP squadron meetings, youth-group, a PTO day (hallelujah!), Tuba Christmas, Messiah performances, 20 or so relatives to lunch, the kids' Christmas program at the Chapel, and one boy with new glasses, and homeschool, and laundry, and a living room full of boys playing Risk.

And Christmas is four days away and they've eaten every Christmas cookie I've made.  And I'm still trying to get Christmas cards addressed, wrap the last few presents, and find the best picture of the boys to give the in-laws, out of the five thousand or so (no kidding) I took on vacation.

So it's not exactly sleep in heavenly peace around here.

But neither was the first Christmas, was it?

A crisis pregnancy.  An unplanned road trip.  And how far is it from Nazareth to Bethlehem?  About a hundred miles?  Really?  Nine months pregnant and riding a donkey for a hundred miles?  With no place to stay?  No comfort.  No guest towels.  No room service.  No privacy.  A baby, born in a barn.  No epidural.  No crib.  No Pampers.  And unexpected company!  Shepherds, foreigners (at least they brought gifts!), angels.  No, not exactly sleep in heavenly peace.

But it is Joy to the World.

We rejoice.  We celebrate.  We sing.  And we light candles and drip wax on our fingers. 

And we stumble imperfectly through it all, because...

For to us a child is born,
to us a Son is given,
and the government will be
on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace.


Lift up your heads,
O ye gates,
and be lifted up,
ye everlasting doors;

and the King of Glory
shall come in.




Q said...

You have nailed it, dear lady. Amen, and amen!

Kat said...

Each year I say that I'll simplify, say "no" to requests for last minute help at the kids' schools, choir practices, etc. However each year, I seem to take on more and more. Thanks for letting me be still for a few precious moments and enjoy your blog...Merry Christmas and celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ!

Wendy said...

My good friend Q sent me this link, and I'm so glad she did. My feelings exactly, and so much more eloquently expressed than anything I could've said. A merry a joyous Christmas to you and yours, and AMEN!

Choate Family said...

And Jesus came for imperfect people like me and you - I'm so glad! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and brightening my Christmas :-)

The dB family said...

Yes! AMEN!! Merry Christmas to you and your dear sweet family! Mom and Dad Grasshopper too!!

Blessings and hugs!!

dlefler said...

Oh my goodness, I want to go to your church. You use REAL candles. Love. And a traditional nativity/Christmas pageant. Also love.

Merry Christmas and joy for the Newborn King and Savior of the World!