Unexpected richness still pervades the air around me. This Christmas season has been unusual to say the least. Scheduling surgery for December 8th caused friends to think I’d lost my mind. Pain was debilitating, and its intensity guided our choice.
Together, my husband and I made the choice that Christmas would be downsized this year. No tree, no other decorations except the wreath beside the door, early shopping and addressing of cards. Festivities would be held somewhere other than our home. And so, it was that this became the richest of all Christmases.
My goal was to be strong enough to celebrate Christmas with our son and his family on December 23rd, or as we call it, Christmas Eve Eve. And I made it! My delight was in watching our 3-year old great-granddaughter Kylie, open her presents, and then go right back to the baby doll in a quilted carrier — obviously her favorite of the evening. She gave me a manicure that I’m sure you’ll not be able to find at your local manicurist’s shop! Then I met and held for the first time Kylie’s new baby brother, Everett, now a month old. He slept in my arms, and I looked in his face and realized that Mary would have held an infant about this size as they raced away from the threats of Herod. How her heart must have pounded!
Not one to set just one goal, I also wanted to pace myself to attend an early Christmas Eve service and worship on Christmas morning. I was able to do both! The early Christmas Eve service was directed toward young families with children, but adults find it enjoyable too. I watched and listened as two little girls, ages 6 and 9, sang the French carol, Le Divin Infant (The Divine Child), every word memorized. A children’s choir of almost 30 treated our ears to O, Little Town of Bethlehem. And the beauty of the night kept coming through music.
AND Christmas morning’s worship service was once again filled with music and readings from The Gospels. My heart was swelling with joy, gratitude, and blessings.
And today I sit here in the quiet continuing my reflections on Christmas realizing that Christmas is new every year — a rebirth of sorts of the Christ Child in each of us if we are willing to open ourselves to this experience. By virtue of being in recovery mode, I patiently sat and waited through the hustle and bustle of early December and was allowed to enjoy the unfolding events of Advent. I don’t recommend experiencing this through surgery and recovery, but I do recommend slowing the pace and giving yourself the opportunity to taste fully the delectable love that God has shown us through the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ.