Today I'll go to work and hope for a peaceful day. I'll come home around 4:00 and I'm expecting daboyz and Susan (Mac's girl) to be waiting to start the party. Christmas Eve is always spent at home, the four of us and sometimes a girlfriend. We are never quite sure, do we open gifts tonight or in the morning? Maybe just one...or just two? It doesn't really matter since it's not the gifts that draw us here. Our house will feel a little bit too small to hold the massive Mexican buffet and the overflowing happiness and love. I like this too small feeling of our home. We seem tucked away, safe and warm. Visions of the Ingalls in their cabin in the Big Woods drift across my imagination. Jay, although he's lived on his own for years now, always brings his duffel bag and spends the night on Christmas Eve. After all, Santa is on his way and a person needs quick access to his stocking! We'll open what remains under the tree and I'll make waffles while the Mr. makes thick cut bacon and scrambled eggs. Strong coffee will be served in big mugs to my big boys. We'll sit around with bed hair sticking up in our pajamas admiring the stack of discarded gift wrap.
I must assume that when daboyz marry, dawives will not care to spend the night here on Christmas Eve. Good heavens, they may even have parents of their own with whom to share their time! (Note to self, encourage daboyz to date orphans.) I don't dread the day when we fall asleep in a quiet house on December 24, no giggling boys (ahem, men,) staying up too late in the family room. The here and now always becomes memory, as it should and must be. We may have a houseful on Christmas Eve for Mexican food, grandchildren with tacos in hand making this house smaller yet. Perhaps we'll be alone some years, just the two of us? That's ok too. Waffles for ten or for two on Christmas morning? Fine either way. We'll hold tight to our loved ones, not our schedules.
Where is the birth of the Christ child in these rambling thoughts? In the center and all around us. He is the foundation upon which our house is built, he is the roof that shelters us from the rain and the walls that buffer us from the cold winds. It is he whose love has taught us to love with arms open and hearts sure, without fear of tomorrow. He who gives us glorious joy today, so much that it can't be held to twenty four hours. Indeed, it exceeds the days of an entire lifetime and spills over into eternity. We will hold one another as humbly as Mary held her baby boy, with amazement and wonder. I leave you, then, with my favorite Christmas scripture. The one that captures all of the dazzle of this season of miracles and expresses just exactly what Christmas means to me...
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
I wish you a quiet heart, to ponder what manner of love the Father has shown us this season.