On this day after Christmas, the house is silent—too quiet, honestly—with only Vero (our empathic little rescue dog) and me sitting in the library as the heater whirs on, staving off the winter that won’t officially end until March 20th.
The past two days were a whirlwind—leaving our home for church on Christmas Eve with our grandson, Ethan, then heading to our daughter and son-in-law’s home for a meal that ended with my husband reading the annual tradition of St. Luke’s version of “The Christmas Story” complete with a small cake with “Happy Birthday Bay Jesus” on it; a tradition my Mom started when I was a child.
Then, in the morning, we headed to Sara and Tim’s to watch our (now fifteen to twenty-two-year-old) grandchildren open their gifts amidst a breakfast feast fit for royalty while opening our stockings overflowing with presents.
In my over-achiever mind, everything would always be like Currier and Ives’ “Winter Wonderland”—serene, peaceful, idyllic. Laughter would continually fill the air, the CD changer would magically choose the perfect album for every moment, the fire would burn for hours without needing more logs, leisurely conversations would be mixed with the “oohs” and “aahs” of the ideal, poignant gift for everyone. All would be calm, and all would be bright.
But perfection is impossible, despite my desire. I’ve known this for a very long time, yet I have still not learned the lesson fully (we humans carry all kinds of baggage, not just what Santa brings).
So, as I sit here in the early morning, I think about my daughters, grandchildren, son-in-law, and amazing friends—all beautiful, generous humans who add joy and laughter to my life. I’ll ponder, then make lists, of what I could do “better” next year (one sorrow is that I got caught up in yesterday’s “to-dos” and didn’t call my most beloved friends yesterday. What I obsess about is often what’s entirely inconsequential, but….
So, today, Larry and I will take our gifts out of the stockings, still “hung by the chimney with care,” we’ll review the past two days and thank God for all the grace and joy we’ve received, And I’ll, again, challenge my human brain to see only the good, only the heartfelt and only the love I am gifted with.
May you see your beauty and value as you read this. We are all journeyers, sometimes shiny like a new Christmas ornament, sometimes faded by age, and sometimes glued back together multiple times, just hanging on.
As your pilgrimage continues, may peace ring in your home. May you be blessed. May you know that you are amazing just the way you are.