Merry Christmas to one and all!
This picture is an old one that has been around seemingly forever. Still, it's a favorite of mine, so I'm going to use it anyway.
For many of us, Christmas is like this picture--it's a time we can surround ourselves with something old, something familiar, something comfortable. Millions of people travel and go back home for this holiday--something they don't do any other time of year. It's a chance to reconnect with friends, with family--a chance to reconnect with that inner child. It's a time to relive all the old family holiday tradtions that hold happy memories for all of us.
I could have easily told you weeks ago how my Christmas Eve was going to go. The family would all go to my Mother's place. A number of us would play cards or play board games, with my mother disappearing every now and then into the kitchen to make sure the food was coming along as it should. One final game--maybe some double or triple solitaire--and then dinner would be served. It would almost be an instant replay of the Thanksgiving dinner one month before--Turkey, stuffing, mashed potates, sweet potates, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, a salad and some kind of vegetable--corn, most likely.
After dinner, we'd clean up, and then go into the living room and open presents. We open all the presents on Christmas Eve--no need to hold anything back for Christmas day. Then it would be off to church for a late night service. When we returned, we'd gather at the kitchen table for cookies and coffee (or cider, or milk). Once done, we'd all say our goodnights and head back to our own abodes.
Did it happen pretty much exactly that way? Yes. Was I at all disappointed by the fact? No, not in the slightest. That's the way we do Christmas Eve in my family. It's our tradition. It's like being wrapped in a warm security blanket. That's what makes the holidays such a joyous occasion, and why we do it year after year after year.
If your facing the holidays alone, however, it's the lack of these things that make the season so difficult. You get none of the camraderie or companionship, none of the sense of anticipation. It's hard to capture the joy of the season when you feel like you're all by yourself.
But--it's the Christmas celebration. And that means that you are NOT alone.
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.......And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Fater, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
You are never alone.
May the promise of Christmas leave you eagerly awaiting each brand new day in the coming year.
May the comfort of Christmas wrap its arms around you and keep you cozy and warm.
May the peace of Christmas settle upon you like a silent snowfall.
This is my wish for all of you out there. Merry Christmas!