December has arrived.
Peace reigns in our home.
A gentle transformation takes place around here
as buds of beauty unfurl from roots sunk deep into our hearts.
* * *
“He is coming.”
“Prepare ye the way.”
* * *
Preparations begin with flashing needles that knit hearts and hands together for a gift to wrap around a loved one.
Preparations begin with carols in hand and strings tuned up to plunk or plink as a prelude to concerts shared.
Preparations begin with furniture shifted and books relocated to feather our nest with spots for gentle reading this advent season.
Preparations begin to sparkle, twinkle, ring, and sing out with
the joy of the season . . . the joy in the reason.
* * *
“Get up and dance!”
“Christ is born!”
* * *
Around Wisteria Cottage the girls plan and prep behind closed doors. “Don’t come in!” I hear as I tap. “Okay . . . you can come in now,” follows a bustling and bundling away of hidden treats. Gary hauls boxes to and fro as Pilgrims pack and leave to make way for the Christ Child. Matthew partners with us in the celebrations as he conquers his autistic need to be alone and joins in the fun as we dance to the delightful Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack (his favorite). I slip off quietly with pen in hand to drink deeply of the peace and joy and love flowing freely in this home. Though great losses have rocked our world through the recent years, a house built upon The Rock withstands the storms; and the family within the standing home rises up to celebrate in the midst of the torrents.
Once I thought Christmas needed to be planned, orchestrated, budgeted, and executed like a battle. I fortified against commercialism and dilution by immersing my family in pageants, programs, parties, and all manner of participation to celebrate the Christ Child’s birth, lest any forget and just make merry. I exhausted myself and often missed the “Peace on Earth” part.
I no longer work to celebrate. I simply do it. I simply pause to ponder all the memories and happiness and sweet joy stored up in our traditions. I no longer fear I will “miss” something as I stop and kneel in the presence of a season filled with so much to ponder. I wonder as I wander . . . and it is wonder-filled.
We call our Christmas tree a “Memory” tree and we laugh and joke and even wipe away the tears as we unwrap each bauble infused with a meaning all our own.
* * *
“Baby’s First Christmas!” . . . we tell our stories.
“The very first ornament mommy gave to daddy before they were even married!” . . . we tell the story.
“The Baby Jesus in the manger!” . . . we tell HIStory.
* * *
I no longer worry about missing something at Christmastime for I know full well that a Christmas without a tree or a wrapped gift or even a Crèche would still fill us to overflowing with pure delight in gathering our hearts together (even distance between cannot deter us) as we celebrate with the true Presence of Christmas.