The whirlwind has past.
Mid the commotion came smiles and full stomachs,
and brand new lovelies
we’ll be making room for
in our kitchens, closets and dresser drawers,
on bookshelves, in the garage…
After the tree is packed and carried to the attic,
and after the New Year.
Along with the brief respite from life on fast-forward,
this afterglow of Christmas before the year’s end,
I am given the luxury of time,
a present not found under the tree.
And I love it—this portion of uninterrupted moments
for savoring home and family.
(So many of you love it, too.
I see it in your eyes, in your greetings and farewells.)
These fleeting hours of the last few days of the year
to spend curled up on the sofa with a book,
playing card games with grown-up offspring,
lingering at dinner for conversation and catching up
or making plans,
to finish signing and sealing Christmas cards
with a handwritten note (still not done, but I’m making progress),
to organize the pantry.
The festivities we modern believers have adopted
to celebrate the Christ child’s arrival to our human sphere
would fill every square on the calendar between November and January.
But choosing from the overflow is a must
if we value sanity, if we treasure peace.
So many times lately my life resembles Danielle’s in the movie, Everafter—
running home to change clothes
(and back then, they wore a lot of clothes!)
before the prince arrived;
then stepping out the front door
as if she had nothing to do but entertain visitors.
Then the camera slips behind the door and around the corner
to reveal two harried women surrounded by remnants
of a wardrobe explosion in the stairwell!
At church before and during special services, holiday concerts, parties,
and whatever else takes place on the hilltop,
a few of us run behind the scenes—
down the hallway
behind the front of the auditorium
and the through the foyer,
in and out of audio/visual rooms
making sure people and props are in the right places at the right times…
There’s that word again. Time.
The one commodity I never have enough of.
It’s all part of my blessed craziness!
Most recent, our first-in-a-long-time Christmas Eve service—
and we ran out of candles.
More people came than we expected,
for carols in candlelight,
for prophecies read from Scripture,
for reading The Song of the Stars to children.
In making Sundays and every Sunday special,
planning holiday services and fellowships and anniversaries,
picnics, banquets, events,
with a handful of willing workers
running to and fro,
arranging flowers desserts and music,
orchestrating presentations and printing programs…
So when Christmas arrives,
and time slows,
and friends cocoon themselves at home,
like me and mine,
emails are few, texts are fewer,
calls come only when necessary,
as moms everywhere savor the calm
in the eye of the holiday storm.
Standing in the kitchen preparing lunch
and hearing Legos being sorted
took me back to younger days when J and E were little.
Remembering and pondering the goodness of the years
in our family,
of weathering storms and emerging stronger,
burying memories (for digging up later) and sharing hugs,
grateful for time to look up in whispered praise.