It came without picking out the live family tree,
decorating homemade sugar cookies,
sending out a single Christmas card.
It came without setting out the family’s nativity,
listening to Christmas carols while
watching the colored lights on the tree.
It came without candles burning while sipping tea,
evenings of jingle bell laughter, singing, spinning and dance,
watching all of our favorite Christmas movies in advance.
It came without stressing over buying a long list of gifts,
going to our usual Christmas shows,
lots of parties to go to given by friends.
There were a number of extenuating circumstances which kept Kevin and me from participating in our usual Advent and Christmas traditions this year.
Fortunately, we made it to my mom’s for hors d’oeuvres by the tree and each opening one gift on Christmas Eve. Mom made the customary assortment of finger foods including: chips, a veggie tray with dip, cocktail wieners, crackers and cheese, shrimp cocktail, and her famous homemade chicken tenders. We got a chance to catch up with my mom, sisters, and brother-in-law while enjoying food and listening to Christmas music around the brightly decorated tree.
We returned to Mom’s house in the morning by 8:15 to open presents as a family. Even though we’re all 19 and older now, my sisters insist we get there relatively early to open gifts. It’s kind of cute that even now my one sister still gets so excited about opening presents Christmas morning that she can’t sleep the night before.
Kevin and I went to Mass on our own. The gift of the God’s only Son, Mass, the Eucharist, and the love of my husband and family made this Christmas even though there were many things and activities it came without this year.
Things didn’t quite turn out the way Mary and Joseph had envisioned leading up to, on, and beyond Christ’s birth, but love prevailed and the Lord’s Will was done. God was, is, and always shall be with us, in us, and working through us. Amen.