Christmas is a little different at my house this year. So far, there is no tree decorated in the living room, no big meal planned yet, all the presents are still in the closet, as is the door wreath. It’s quiet. The Johnny Mathis Christmas cd is still in the case. It seems like Thanksgiving was yesterday and it’s already time for holiday madness to be swinging in full force. I don’t know why, but this household is holding out. It’s all happening too fast and time is jumbled up in a close knot. I need to find a way to spread it out and undo some of it. Anyone else feel that way?
I want these Advent days to slow down so that I can savor them. I want time to move in slow motion like it did when I was a little girl. I want every minute to be recorded in my memory instead of seeing the blur of a fast paced Christmas season. It’s just too much this year. I’m not prepared.
I saw the singer Jewel on the Today Show this morning and she seemed to have a handle on what Christmas should be. She said something to the effect of having a child brings back the joy of Christmas. Now, that’s profound.
Ahh, therein lies the problem. I don’t have my children around me, and by that I mean grandchildren. After all, my boys are all grown up and, being boys, they have their own lives to live, don’t they? My gaggle of grandchildren lives just far enough away that I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. I think that because November and December seem to have collided this year, the opportunity to see them has been limited. I can’t wait till I can get my hands on them! We are going to have such fun! I can see it all now: teaching them how to bake cookies, making Christmas presents for their parents, the cousins getting together and having a blast playing games, taking pictures, hugging, kissing, and loving each other.
Yeah, that’s Christmas.
I have a new friend (writer Fletcher McHale – check her out https://nantubre.com/2013/11/04/book-review-save-us-a-seat-by-fletcher-mchale-nablopomo-4/) who has a very unique way to make note of her prayers. She starts out with the line “dear 7lb 8oz Baby Jesus”. I’m going to borrow that line just this once because it seems appropriate during this Advent season. My prayer goes something like this:
Dear 7lb 8oz Baby Jesus,
You are such a beautiful baby. And what a shame that you had to grow up to become the Sacrificial Lamb but I thank you for it. And I thank you for your tenderness and mercy shown to me throughout my whole life. And the blessings, the blessings from you, Baby Jesus, that I call my Grandchildren. My gratitude is eternal. This Christmas I intend to celebrate you in a new way. I’m not looking at the hustle and bustle of the world. I’m not looking at all the lights and the wrapping paper and the cards. I’m not struggling to buy the biggest and the best. I’m looking for you in my heart and in the innocent eyes of little ones. I’m planning to see you through simple joys and hopeful promises of love and laughter. The genuine kind, not the kind that comes with opening presents and racking up gift after gift. I only have one gift to give; my love. And that gift will be a celebration of You, given freely, joyfully, happily. It will be given in terms of guiding little hands pressed against each other in prayers of thankfulness and teaching them to shape gingerbread men for the oven. It will be given through the reading of the Christmas story. To the best of my ability, it will be lavished upon whomever You put in my path. But I will need Your strength and a good dollop of Your unconditional love to sustain me. I’m not that strong on my own, you know. Thank You, dear Baby Jesus. Love, Nan
Share the Christmas Love by praying for peace. Ya’ll have a good one!