For the last ten years, my Christmas is kicked off on Thanksgiving day. My Carol and family come over and we would spend the day perusing the sales circulars for black Friday. Then, we'd get up about four a.m. and go shopping. We had it down to a science. It was so awesome waiting out in the cold lines, then in the hot stores. People were so very kind (mostly) and it started the season off wonderfully. My new job, however, requires me to work the day after. No home made scones by my brother-in-law for me. No shopping till I dropped. Just work for me. Then, my husband left for a week for work to the land of Detroit. No time to shop or bake. I was too busy running the kids around and working. See what I mean about work getting in my way! lol Then, he came home and it was the 13th. We finally bought our tree a couple days later. It sat outside for almost a week. This is NOT how I do Christmas. I bake, a lot. I light Advent candles. The tree is up and trimmed way before now! This is not my Christmas! I had yet to buy any presents, bake, or light even one advent candle. And, my grand plans for all that scripture? Just a dream. No matter what I did or tried to do, I just could not get in the Christmas Spirit. I tried not to focus on all the stuff that wasn't going according to my plan. I have a job I love, a family I love, yada, yada, yada I still didn't have a tree up!
Then, last night, we went to Mass. My favorite place to be. I was with my family, minus my son. He's constantly working. My husband and I both texted him to let him know what Mass we were going to, but didn't know when he was coming home. I sat in the pew and tried to let the day just wash over me. Then, I went up for the Eucharist. And, then, quietly, as I'm walking towards the altar, suddenly, I was awash all in Christmas spirit. The very one that I'd been missing for weeks. And, as we were in the parking lot leaving, we saw my son. He made it to Mass after all.
I didn't light my advent candles even once. Didn't write out any Christmas cards. Didn't get my shopping done or wrapped early, nothing like usual. Nothing like I wanted, nothing like the traditions I was use too. And, it didn't matter.
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Today was spent with my big, loud, happy family enjoying the blessings that God has given us. Each other.
Until next time,
I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.