Merry Day after Christmas! I hope you all had a blessed time with your friends and family. My mom, brother, and I spent the afternoon with dear neighbors of ours with whom we also spent Christmas last year, our first one without my dad.
After two Christmases now, I still don’t know how to precisely describe the feeling I have spending them in another household without my dad. I have a wonderful time, I enjoy the company, I’m thankful to be there – don’t get me wrong. But it’s all bittersweet, shaded with the soothing images of twenty-two other Christmas days moving softly across my mind’s eye in a parade of muted memories.
There’s a quote by Carol Nelson that says, “Christmas is a time when you’re homesick…even when you’re home.” As a grown-up now (still a bit surreal to say that!), I’m struck with giant waves of nostalgia each Christmas morning. I wake up…late. My mom has to remind me to check my stocking. Most of my Christmas presents are things I’m fully expecting, and from my family, no less – not a ruddy old elf who prefers chimneys over doors and boisterous deer over 747s.
I don’t have to detail the differences between this Christmas morning behavior and that of a little girl with a head full of fairy tales fifteen years ago; you already know because you’ve experienced it. I imagine Christmas must be among the most joyous times for the parents of young children. They get to see the magic of Christmas reawaken and permeate the atmosphere with the purity and perfection of childhood delights.
Yesterday after lunch, our host assembled us all together to listen to his wife share with us a part of her Sunday school lesson. It was about the indescribable gift of Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 9:15). She asked the rhetorical question, “How would God, so desiring to show us His love, choose to do it?” He didn’t speak with a loud voice from Heaven. Not only would it scare folks to death, only those living at the time would hear. He didn’t rend the sky and show us His face. Doing so would kill people instantly (Exodus 33:20).
Mrs. Sabota, our lovely hostess and teacher, played the song, “A Baby Changes Everything” sung by Faith Hill. God chose to send His Son to us as a baby. He chose to reveal Himself as one of us, fully man and fully divine. Talk about the joys of Christmas morning. You’ve got a gazillion angels singing overhead, high-ranking envoy angels delivering top secret messages to protect and exhort, and majestic Magi on their way from the east bringing expensive gifts (symbolic of kingship, the priesthood, and death). I think it’s safe to assume every subsequent Christmas has been humdrum in comparison.
This Sunday school lesson took away my homesickness. It’s easy for me, or anyone who’s lost a loved one, to feel sorry for myself around this time of year and slide into a retrospective trance of what-ifs and what’s been. But the childlike joy of Christmas is here for everyone, no matter our age, no matter our circumstance. Family, friends, gift giving and getting are all delightful, but I find the truest sense of contentment when I think about the Gift that really does keep giving, year after year, decade after decade, throughout eternity. It’s a Gift I’ll never want to exchange or return, nor will it tarnish, crash, or break. It is Perfect. It is Christ.
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di
Here’s a pic of that cinnamon cake I made with tons of cane sugar ;-). No Splenda, no Stevia, haha. A guy on my fitness-dedicated facebook page said it looked funny, lol. Maybe so, but it sure is delicious! 😀