It’s never been easy for me. Christmas is about God coming to earth as a baby boy. What a WOW moment! The story of that first Christmas is one that should inspire amazing wonder in the human heart. Yet, I’ve always had a hard time feeling that on Christmas Day.
I’m always thinking about the thing that’s right in front of me. And, on Christmas Day, that’s a series of tasks to keep the festivities moving along. When our children were smaller that involved getting up early and starting a fire in the fireplace, followed by waking the kids, handing out gifts, cleaning up the torn wrapping paper, making breakfast, gathering gifts for extended family, piling everyone in the van, driving to the grandparents, etc…
As the kids got older, the focus shifted to Christmas brunch that we host for close to 30 people. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. I have a hard time pausing in the midst of all that and embracing the wonder of Christmas.
That all changed December 25, 2015.
The day started like every other recent Christmas. We had a couple dozen family and friends arriving at 10a. I had a lot of work to do… even more than usual because Ava, my wife, was not home. So, once again, the tasks in front of me consumed my attention. The cheesy hash brown casserole had to be made, the bacon had to be fried, and the plates and silverware had to be ready for our guests.
It was a great Christmas morning. Everyone enjoyed the food and fun, but I was distracted by something else that was right in front of me. Ava was sending me text updates. She wasn’t home that Christmas morning because our daughter and her husband were at the hospital and Ava was with them. Her texts became more frequent as Christmas morning merged into Christmas afternoon.
And then the updates stopped and Ava came home.
She enjoyed leftover Christmas brunch and then took a brief nap. Later that evening we all returned to the hospital. That’s when the wonder of Christmas finally came into focus. I was able to engage my imagination in the Christmas story. God came to earth to live among us. He came as a baby boy. Not an imaginary baby, but a real baby with real baby needs.
For the first time ever, the thing right in front of me on a Christmas day was a real baby with real baby needs. At 6:17pm, I held my five hour old grandson Judah. That’s when it all changed.
Christmas 2015. Best ever.