Christmas Eve morning. Christmas Day is now so very close, as a famous line goes, “its practically here”. I have so much I need to be doing, and yet, here I sit. Drinking coffee, watching the cats playing out back while the dogs, who hear them, are seeking ways to get out and go play tag. Even though it is not a game in which the cats wish to partake. I mentioned to my son that we need to come up with a better way to latch the gate but he was mentally preparing for his work day ahead and not interested in any of my ideas. Possibly because some of them do come from out in left field and are not always feasible. Even as they sound good in my head.
I have gifts to wrap. I have laundry that needs done. I have food to cook and more food to get into a state of preparation for the actual cooking tomorrow morning. There are things that I’ve never prepared before that I need make today. Nothing like doing something for the first time for a family gathering. Hoping and praying it turns out well because otherwise you are going to hear about the results. Actually, I am beginning to think they take bets on how the dressing is going to turn out each year. Will it be too dry and fall apart or not? Pour gravy on it, it will be fine. No, I’m not discussing last year’s overly lumpy gravy that got tossed out so I could have a remake.
I have allowed myself to get so stressed over this it isn’t funny. I didn’t sleep well because of the concerns over what awaits. My worries over how this or that will turn out. Whether the food will be eaten or ignored, worse teased about. I’m sixty-four, I should be beyond worrying over the thoughts of others, but this is family and yeah, it matters. Why? Because we set such high standards and ideals. If it isn’t perfect in every way, it is unworthy. If not an absolute success, then it is a failure. Even when family and friends say nothing. Because we are often too hard on ourselves.
Christmas is supposed to be a celebration over the birth of Jesus the Christ. God who came to Earth, born a baby and placed in a manger. Jesus who left His Heavenly throne to walk as man. Born of a virgin, in a stable among the animals because there was no other place available. Born humbly. Intentionally.
I know that all of the Christmas decorations are symbols of Jesus and His birth. I know that as Christians it is His birth that is to be celebrated. I understand too that the Wise Men brought gifts, so we give gifts. But what have we done? We have taken something of peace and made it one of the most stressful of times. We also spend way too much time arguing over trivial things. Yes, I have heard and read all of the pagan similarities. I know the comments on the date of His birth’s celebration. I see your comments on whether to use the term Happy holidays or Merry Christmas. Whether to write it Merry Christmas or Xmas. Fearing writing Xmas takes Christ out of Christmas, which is incorrect.
(ˈkrɪs məs; often ˈɛks məs) Christmas. usage: The abbreviation Xmas for Christmas dates from the mid-16th cent. The X is the Greek letter chi, the initial in the word Χριστός (Christos) “Christ.” In spite of a long and respectable history, today Xmas is objectionable to many, perhaps because of its associations with advertising. It is not used in formal writing.
Thank you Free dictionary for this definition.
As I sit here, one pot of coffee nearly gone, I prepare for the work ahead. I spoken on the phone several times, I’ve heard the notifications of messages I need to check and I ponder on the day and traditions. When my husband was alive we always ended up in one or several of the big box stores on Christmas Eve. We always seemed to need something. He’s been gone over four years now, I have in the past kept up that tradition but I don’t know about today. I remember when my paternal grandmother was alive and we would go to her house. While the rest of the family chatted, my teenage self would sit in the other room watching the lights on the tree and enjoying the quiet. We are supposed to go to my sister-in-laws tonight as we’ve done for years. Even after my husband’s passing as we are still family. We’ll sit together and chat, the meal a simple pick up. A time meant to be spent with family and not over a stove or sink full of dishes.
Tomorrow, a little after twelve, I’ll gather with my family. We’ll enjoy a meal, but more importantly we’ll be together. We’ll spend time with mom and dad, each other and all of the children, enjoying the moment. My son is grown so there’s no little feet and happy voices at dawn crying out over gifts, but there is that smile and hug. Under the tree is bare, but our hearts are full.
All too soon, the insanity we have made it will be over. Gifts unwrapped, any left over food put away and the tables cleared. All too soon we will be separating and headed back to our own homes. The excitement of the moment waning. My hope, is that while all the eating and laughter is happening, we are not forgetting. Even as time passes and the gifts lose their luster, in our heart we remember the real reason. It isn’t the decorations. It isn’t the gifts. It isn’t the food. It is the love we were and are given, by a baby that was born of lowly birth. Born to save us all.
I love your painting, so beautiful! I despise the expression X-mas. It’s a slap on the Lord’s face. As usual, I am weary of the constant and ridiculous TV commercials that tell us to be good little consumers who will ignore the real reason for Christmas. On the 26th, the insanity on TV ends for the most part.
Many many years ago, before the company I used to work for was purchased by the current owner, there was an older gentleman from a country which I don’t remember. He spoke some English but was the nicest of people. He was there setting up some machinery. Anyway, I had purchased some pens from a local dollar type store and handed them out to some of the folks I worked with. I gave him one and you would have thought I had given him the Hope diamond. Sometimes, with some, it really is the fact you thought of them.
That’s wonderful, Rebecca. There are still so many good people in this world, you are certainly one of them. ❤️
Thank you John, that is very kind of you to say. Yesterday while mom and I were checking out from shopping she dropped her cane. Two people nearly fell over themselves moving to help her. Yes, there are still good people.
That’s wonderful that those people wanted so much to help your mom! ❤️