And so this is Christmas. Another holiday over. Another year almost at its end.
Christmas has come and has gone. There’s leftover food in the fridge. Garbage bags full of ripped wrapping paper and ribbons. Cookie crumbs all over the floor. Not to mention the containers of cookies and other treats not eaten taking up space on the kitchen counter.
The Christmas tree which once had gaily wrapped gifts gracing the floor underneath now stands bare and alone. But laundry baskets of towels and sheets are full to the brim.
Christmas is over and this place Papa and I call home is quiet and empty once more. Just a few days ago, the house was noisy and full of joy and laughter.
All the “kids” were home for the holiday this year along with Nana and Papa’s three apples of our eye, our grandchildren. Even the grand-dog, Barley, joined us to celebrate this year.
We enjoyed five days of celebrating together, filling our bellies with good food, our hands with thoughtful gifts, our ears with conversations, our spirits with merry-making and fun, but more importantly, our hearts with much love.
We worshiped our Lord together as a family at church. We listened to time-honored Christmas carols played on the piano by our oldest daughter.
We watched those Christmas movies that make us guffaw every single time and some old VHS tapes (remember those?) from our kids’ childhood that they want to watch every Christmas.
As we gathered around the dining room table for Christmas Day dinner, we continued our tradition of Christmas hopes, writing down our wishes, hopes, or goals to take place by next Christmas. First we take turns reading what we wrote for this year, then we write our wishes for the year to come.
And we played game after game – some competitive like the candy cane (spoons) card game and Christmas movies team trivia; some just plain silly like charades and marshmallow tower building, and some ridiculous like Beard Ball (we don’t recommend it).
Nana fashioned fun times for the little ones as well. The two oldest (almost five and just turned three) searched the house for clues to a hidden treasure (a box of Christmas novelties under the tree) and played round after round of “find Santa.”
And we squeezed in two December birthday celebrations and managed to serve our family tradition of Christmas sundaes.
All in all, it was a wonderful family Christmas celebration with a crazy white elephant gift exchange thrown in for good measure.
But I find myself wondering did we truly take time to honor the reason we celebrate this holiday in the first place? Were we so busy doing and preparing and gathering and eating and trying to get little ones down for naps and moving on to the next activity that we forgot to focus on Jesus? Did we truly honor our Savior?
Our Christmas was definitely family-oriented but I have to wonder was it Christ-centered? Did we really take time to remember the reason for the season? I think we did, but I also think we could have, should have done much better.
That needs to be my Christmas wish for next year and every year thereafter.
“The great challenge left to us is to cut through all the glitz and glam of the season that has grown increasingly secular and commercial, and be reminded of the beauty of the One who is Christmas.” ~ Bill Crowder