Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. Because we managed to stay awake until (and through!) the Christmas Eve church service, it truly does feel like Christmas. For me, the Christmas Eve service transcends all the nonsense that we go through in order to gift each other, and although that is such a wonderful time when we're all together and having fun and sharing our gifts with each other, making sure sizes are right and wishes are answered, it still makes it all have meaning at 12:00 when the lights are extinguished and everyone lights each other's candle and sings "silent night". Yup, that's the good stuff. Sometimes, when circumstances beyond my control, or even just plain laziness, get between me and the Christmas Eve service, I miss it. And without fail, I am always sorry. It is the service where the message breaks through to my cynical heart, and I am moved. And to miss it means a whole year must go by before that opportunity comes again. and although in that year I may be moved for other reasons, and my cynical heart may be spoken to through another voice, that Christmas Eve service is the one that really matters, because so many other forces are vying for my attention. And sometimes those are the ones we're hearing. This year, I'm happy to say, we made it. A lovely dinner out with Jerry and Allison at the Fireside Restaurant, sitting fireside, and then a trip through the neighborhoods to see the lighted decorations and of course, the spectacular moon that we all shared. This was done specifically so that we would not eat at home, sit down in the living room to wait for 10:00, and then to crash and burn, saying "I can't". Well, yes you can, but you choose not to. And so, knowing my weaknesses (sitting in the living room after a nice meal and crashing and burning) we decided to eat out and STAY out until it is time for church. This way, we managed to eliminate that crash and burn opportunity and we made it! Jackie and Jesse and Walter and Jackie made it up Christmas Day, and like the rest of the northeast jumped back on the thruway on the 26th in hopes of making it home before the snow hit. It was a disappointingly short visit, but I feel lucky that we had one at all. This year was particularly busy, I believe because I completely had Christmas denial right up until the 20th or so. . . You live your consequences. That is what I always tell my kids when they ask my opinion on their decision. You live your consequences. Not me, you. So how will this affect your future? Well, let's just say the week before Christmas didn't leave alot of time for spiritual reflection. I was constantly behind the 8-ball. And so, I lived my consequences. Thankfully, we can sit in a pew at 10 PM on Christmas eve and realize "if it isn't done by now, it isn't getting done". That is peace. I love it. I can sit down and hear the message, without interruption, without going over lists in my head, without putting incredible pressure on myself to get things done. None of it matters. It's Christ's birthday. That's the message. It needs to last longer this year. I need to hold that message in my heart, longer than before. I need to act on it, more. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Peace.

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