Growing up there was a song me and the sisters always listened to. It was one of our favorite albums, yep a 33, we played at Granny's house and our house. It was Pebbles and Bam Bams of the Flintstones Christmas album. It's title was...The Day before the night before Christmas. The 23 rd was always the beginning of the Christmas celebration for our family. We headed to Plainville for Christmas with Granny and PaPa York. As long as I can remember the 23 rd was the beginning for us. Granny decided to selflessly have us earlier so as not to interfere with other family gatherings. It was fun seeing cousins, then as years passed seeing cousins and their kids. The food, decorations, being at Granny and Papa's made it Christmas. As time has it and death steals things, Papa passed many years ago-but the tradition continued, then Granny passed a few years ago ending our tradition on the 23rd. Along with it, ended seeing uncles, aunts, cousins and second cousins. The end of the tradition in essence ended the beginning of the Christmas celebration for our family.
To this day, the 23rd makes me feel as if I should head to Plainville for Granny's pats, fried potatoes and catching up with family. It's been many years since we've celebrated in Plainville but for some reason today, the 23rd, the "day before the night before Christmas" has beat me down. Maybe because I feel behind in shopping, prepping for Christmas due to flu, working more days, older children. Maybe it's because the commercialization of Christmas is really ticking me off. Maybe it's because not only today, but for many days leading up to this Christmas- I've realized that I've lost sight of "Christmas." In the rat race of buying and spending and rushing and hurrying I've lost sight of what I never wanted to lose sight of. Sadly, while running into others while shopping and stating my dismay and stating my desire of wanting to go to sleep and maybe wake up after the first of the year, Rip Van Winkle style---I'm not the only one feeling like this. Others, too, have lost sight.
Who's to blame?
Every year I say it will be different-maybe change over to three gifts each. After all-3 was enough for the King of Kings, Lord of Lords.
Every year I say I'm not rushing, hurrying through the season to be left frazzled and fogged.
Every year I say it will be different.
Every year I say i will remember what it's really about.
Every year-it ends up the same...losing sight.
Losing sight of that silent night.
Losing sight of that sacrifice.
Losing sight of that love.
Losing sight of my God taking form as a human.
Losing sight of Mary's heart.
Losing sight of Joseph's obedience.
It's always there, deep inside of me. When i was worshipping in church Sunday morning fighting tears being reminded of the love poured out for me.
When I walk by the manger scene that decorates my sofa table--reminded of the most precious of births.
When I see all if the crosses that hang on my tree, not just as decorations but reminders that He was born to take His place on the cross for me.
When I feel His presence with me-filling the empty space that death has drilled open.
It's there--so why do I have to dig so deep during this season to see?
Because I let the world encompass me, take over. Then it trickles down to my children. Breaks my heart when I see that it's about the presents and not His presence. That it's about the getting instead of giving. That trickle down effect breaks me wide open. Drills a bigger hole than death ever will. It's up to me to change me which in turn will change my three. But then...
When everyone else is getting this or that.
When everyone else is driving this.
Living in that.
Traveling to there.
Father help me.
As the time has changed from the "day before the night before Christmas" to Christmas Eve-I ask You to change my heart, change my children's hearts.
Let us be grateful for all gifts from family, friends but never let us lose sight of the one gift we should be most thankful for...your Sons birth, death and resurrection. For the very fact that His name, Emmanuel, reminds us that He is with us...
Even when we lose sight.
Even when the world puts blinders on us.
Even when we are greedy.
He, the One who gave up royalty in the Heavens to lay in a stable--and died for you and for me---He is with us-even as we lose sight.
Merry Christmas -and may we all lose sight of the world and focus on the only reason for the season. Happy Birthday Jesus.