|Don't Stop Believing. . .|
|Christmas Eve in Eagan|
|Christmas Day Spaghetti with Bill's Folks and Ann and Dave|
|Christmas Continues in Iowa|
I asked my friend, why do I get so high and so low around Christmas? Is something wrong with me? Maybe something is wrong with me. I felt like Charlie Brown at Lucy's nickel stand. She thought about it for a moment and finally said, "maybe you are just human."
I'm human. And I'm greedy. This season is so full. So full. Every year seams to get fuller than the last. I'm greedy. I want it all. I'm not talking about my own Christmas wishlist, I'm talking about my greed of Christmas traditions. I want Thanksgiving in Nisswa and to decorate my house and make cookies and have the church tea. I want the recitals at our house and I love the choral service and how my family is growing up participating in church music. I love a big Christmas. I love a tree full of presents with unique bows and paper picked for each person. And everybody in the five state area has to get a card or package. That's the kind of greed I'm talking about.
But this year--instead of wrapping my mother-in-law's presents with amaryllis paper and my brother-in-law's gifts with paper with stags and Mary's with angels or bunnies and Calvin's with trains or puppies--I found myself embracing the recycled gift bag.
And I had more than one fight or flight moment. There was more to be done than can ever be done.
I asked a gal at the check out counter, what are you doing for Christmas? Her response? "Oh, I think I will sleep in and play some video games."
What? Are you fricken kidding me?
Sleep in and play video games?
What about the homemade caramels and fudge?
What about the third church service on Christmas Eve, in between Santa and waffles and family gifts and appetizers and Maggie and turning the house around for more company the next day?
The sermon at the candlelight service, given by that same friend, was about the perfect Christmas. Or lack thereof. All those nativity scenes portray Mary looking like she just came from the spa. Probably it was not like that.
To be honest, I quit with the advent devotions about December 9th. The pressure to achieve some spiritual high while clinging to this Christmas roller coaster was too much pressure and too much guilt. I gave in to the self pity of the moment.
Maybe something is wrong with me.
Maybe I'm an ungrateful spoiled brat.
Maybe I'm human.
That same friend gave a sermon ten days ago. I guess I did have a small spiritual moment, because I opted to sit through it twice. The theme? Simultaneous joy and grief. Haven't we all felt that?
I translated it also to the simultaneous loving of each and every Christmas moment and complete Christmas burnout. We can embrace it all. My Christmas greed and my Christmas gratitude. And it's all holy and God is in all of it.
God with us.
Even during those moments when I couldn't fit Christ into Christmas--he was still there.
And it was. . . the perfect Christmas.