“It’s going to be ok”. Those were words my husband ,Kevin,said to me the other day. They came after his first sentence of “I thought this Christmas wasn’t going to be very good.” I can’t say I disagreed with his feelings.
A few weeks ago if you would have asked me about this upcoming holiday I would have told you that I was looking forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus and I truly was. But if you wanted the deeper answer- which most people really don’t want to hear- I would have said that I was feeling rather down about the whole deal. There was a very good thing -that my mom was coming to spend it with us. Something we hadn’t done in a while. But then I got sad because we were pretty tight on funds and I knew that there would be bigger limits on gifts this year. I never want my kids to feel our financial pinch the way we do. They are aware we can’t afford too many big things but we have managed to afford a soccer fees here and new glasses there. I wanted Christmas to be great for them.
Early in November I asked them for their Christmas lists. I asked them to name three things they wanted one big, one medium, and one small. God love them their lists were of things that weren’t expensive. One thing Ozzy asked for was a comb. It was sweet and sad at the same time. I used their lists and some ideas of my own to put together gifts for each of them that I hope they enjoy. I know the season isn’t about only gifts. But it is about giving and part of this sentiment for me was to make it nice for our kids.
For me, as the days until Christmas grew shorter, I began feeling a little if the old tingle about the season but there was something that was disconnected for me. Then one Sunday we ran our kids to youth group at our church. It was pot luck night and I ran our contribution inside. When I got in I realized I needed to warm up our dish. So I ran into the kitchen to warm it in the microwave. As others came I realized I could be of help by heating up their dishes as well. Kevin got into the action too. When we left them to have their meeting. I felt really good. It was just a little thing that took me outside of myself for a time. Something changed in me for the better. Some of the dread lifted. Then the following weekend the boys and Kevin put up the lights outside. Something opened up in me a little more. As I wrapped gifts I hummed some Christmas songs.
Then on Sunday, Kevin and I decided to go caroling with our kids and their youth group. I hadn’t been caroling for many years but it sounded fun. ( I sat out on the patio the day before practicing songs. Really it was to embarrass my kids but the practice was good. ) After our group dinner we headed out to our assigned homes. We would be singing to some of our older church members that don’t get out as much anymore. The senior high got assigned to the senior community and the nursing home. When we began singing at the first home i began tearing up. Where was that coming from? There was that connection inside coming to life. We continued until it was time to enter the nursing home. There we broke into two groups. When we entered the first room we began singing to a woman in the far bed. I was close to the first bed in the room and as we sang I looked over at the other woman who occupied that bed. She was a little lady with the sheets pulled up to her chin and O2 in her nose. A dim light illuminated her bed. Her eyes were closed and her lips were moving as she sang along. I kept looking at her and she opened her eyes and I smiled at her. Our eyes locked for just a few seconds as we sang together a song to celebrate our Saviors birth. It was a special moment and I know there was Gods presence in that room. Not one person came out of that room dry eyed.
As we visited other rooms one of the more ambulatory residents accompanied us and sang too. A non- church member asked us if we could sing to her mother. Of Course. It was a special night for me and my husband. It wasn’t about gifts, it was about connection. Being outside ourselves and our worries. It was about being with teens and seniors and sharing special songs about the most blessed occasion we know.
It was later that evening that my husband made that comment. “I thought this Christmas wasn’t going to be very good. But now I think it’s going to be ok. I’m really looking forward to it now.” I forget sometimes that my other half stresses too. Until he said that I’m not sure I realized his strife -I was so focused on mine. I had felt the same on both counts. At first I thought it wasn’t going to a great holiday. But then as the days march toward the big day my spirits have lifted. It isn’t about gifts it’s about connecting outside of ourselves and feeling the Holy Spirit in our midst. Sometimes when we try to reach out to others we reach something inside ourselves. I hadn’t expected it. Maybe that’s the best gift of all.
Yes it’s going to be ok. It’s going to be more than ok. It’s going to be awesome. It already has been.
God Bless and Merry Christmas.
Thanks for reading…