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
the Prince of Peace.
Lift up your heads,
O ye gates,
and be lifted up,
and the King of Glory
shall come in.