Christmas isn’t my favorite holiday, but it is my favorite season. I love the decorating, the anticipation and the thought that goes into each tradition. It hasn’t really felt like Christmas up to this point, but this afternoon we had our family gathering and when we sat around playing the gift exchange game and there was wrapping paper flying through the air and people swapping gifts back and forth I really started to get the feeling. There is a contentment that settles down in my soul.. I’m so grateful for the familiarity of my life around this time of year.
I’m sitting on my couch with White Christmas playing on Netflix. Luke and Sarah and I all have laptops out and we’re paying attention to our own screens and singing along with the familiar music. We don’t need conversation, it’s an easy camaraderie of siblings who have had so many conversations that we don’t need to fill every minute with talk. (Or at least that’s how I feel, but who knows? Maybe they think it is stilted and awkward. lol.)
Tomorrow and Monday will be full of last minute prep and visits and services and friends and laughter. We’ll share our family traditional Christmas Eve with a few other families and attend services at a tiny candlelit church with a pump organ and no electricity, we’ll end up getting free hot cocoa at Sheetz after midnight, we’ll yell, “Merry Christmas Bedford Falls!” out to the cold empty air.
It isn’t the intense excitement of Easter morning, but instead it is the quiet promise that was Jesus’ birth. Not the answer yet, not the victory yet, but the beginning of the answer. I can’t imagine being one of those to witness the first Christmas and then having to wait 33 years to figure out the rest of the plan, but from this vantage point I can appreciate the silent night and it’s beautiful promise. I can thank God for his gift, for his patience, for his perfect plan that spans so many generations and yet somehow isn’t spoiled or deterred. I can thank him for his work in my life and how he changes my heart ever so slightly with every passing day.