Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post Christmas Thoughts...

"Every which way but loose" - My heart could use these words to describe the grip of the holidays. There are so many emotions that sweep in and out, leaving their mark of varying degrees of pleasure or pain. For some, losses suffered throughout the year are magnified during the holidays. Memories of holiday sadness from years past revisit others. Some family members are home for Christmas "only in their minds". Illness or incapacitating old age robs the ability to experience the holidays as some remember and deeply long for. Some of us hurt for our parents or older loved ones because we perceive their sense of loss to their "golden years". I was visiting with my mother, counting the days till my sons would be here for Thanksgiving. She teared up and said, "It is so sad that I can't do all the things I used to do. I'm just not the same person for them." For them... She was thinking of their loss.♡

There are Christmas programs, parades, choral presentations, etc., that demand hours of preparation before hand and punctual participation at the time of presentation. We volunteer our time and energy packing boxes for our church or Good Fellows program or other needed ministries. We shop and some of us "proxy" shop for others who can't. We stand in the kitchen, measuring and mixing for days. We hurriedly write all too brief messages in Christmas cards to folks we'd love to visit over a good meal or with whom we'd like to enjoy a good movie.

And we experience intense joy in giving. I love to decorate our home for my husband who tells me repeatedly how much he loves to come into the house, relax, and just look at the tree or the decorations. In my tubs of decorations are many carefully preserved ornaments made by my children, aunts, friends, Brian and myself. When I remove the tissue paper that protects them throughout the year, I smile. Visions of the faces of their creators come to my mind. In January I wrap and cushion them again, hoping to retrieve them next year. As long as I can I will hang these old ornaments, along with the new, even though some have cracks that have been glued, some are faded, and some dough ornaments are missing limbs.

Our family arrives and we so enjoy our time with them. Our hearts are thrilled when we can give someone a gift they've been hoping for. Our minds retrieve snippets of Christmases past and each retells his version of moments we shared. Eyes glow. It's meal time and we all eat way too much but it's so good.

We can't help but miss those who are absent. Eyes sometimes glow with sad tears.

So many emotions... By this time in December, some years more than others, my emotions are fragile. I may cry for any or no reason. I'm not sad or upset, just easily touched. Even then, there is serene warmth and peace. Throughout the Church or school programs, the beautiful music we hear, opportunities to give, games or a puzzle shared with family, meals with friends, even the moments we feel loss... we are cradled in love by the Saviour whose birth we celebrate. The Word says "He knows our frame". He understands all. He understands when we are absorbed with the activities and are oblivious of the gratitude we should be experiencing. He understands when we try, but soon realize how inadequate our attempts to express praise. He is touched by the feelings of being human because that's what His coming was all about. And there is strength and security in His embrace. There is calm assurance regarding our future because we're enfolded in His strong arms. The holiday and its grip with all the motion and emotion come and go but the sure, cradling, embrace of our Saviour never weakens with the passing of time. "Oh Lord, we praise your Holy name. We pour our hearts out to you. Thank you for coming to earth as a baby. Thank you for living a perfect life, doing only what you saw the Father direct. Thank you for being the lamb that was sacrificed for our sins. For making the way for God to reckon us in perfect standing with Him, for He sees you when He looks at us. It's too much for us to take in. We have no fear of death nor retribution for our sins because you have overcome. We praise your Holy Name Forever!."

If you'd like to see pictures from our hoildays, click on the Picasa Web Albums link to the left, then on the Christmas album, and slideshow.

1 comment:

FancyHorse said...

Thank you for stopping to visit and leave a comment on my blog. It's so nice to "meet" you! I love your table and coffee cups, it looks warm and inviting. I also love your collection of nativity ornaments, especially the fourth picture down on the right side.