It’s Christmas Eve! And unfortunately I’m still not “feeling” the season. Just didn’t get into it this year for some reason and I’m kind bummed about it. Last minute I had a few ideas for gifts for the kids but didn’t end up getting a chance to head out to purchase them. You see, we’ve got a sick kid on our hands. And maybe that with the impending tonsillectomy etc I’m just more worried about keeping her healthy and not her stocking stuffed.
Or maybe I’m confused as to why I haven’t gotten the bug of this season yet? Either way … here we are, on the front stoop of Christmas and this is where I get the forward motion of a PUSH and just get on with it.
In the middle of making Santa’s cookies this morning our daughter barfed. She’s got a high temp and is complaining about her aches and pains. Her legs shake because she’s weak and she’s cold. I want to lay her down but she’ll cry for me, so I let her sit in the chair in the living room and watch her favorite movie, in between batches of butterscotcheroos.
This isn’t Christmas. Or, is it?
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
I know how uncomfortable birth is, how sickening labor can make you feel. How your legs shake through transition and how your body convulses in the literal exile of souls – once connected, now separate. Apart. Living, breathing, alone.
How was that for Mary? This day so long ago, giving birth to some one so promised, so royal and yet she’s so outcast.
Granted my child isn’t a newborn, nor is she laboring. I’ve been waiting for the magical snow fairies to show up at my house and tell me “It’s time! The Christmas Spirit is upon you!” and that’s just not going to happen. No amount of Christmas merriment on TV, in a catalog or in my mug is going to make me connect to this season. It’s not a smell or the taste of gingerbread.
It’s the broken feeling of labor and the hope that lies in your arms when your babe is suckling at your breast and you look up at those around you in wonder. On the inside you’re full of joy and everlasting love – where did that come from? But you’re also scared. So scared that you can’t breathe. And here you go.
It’s Christmas eve. Historically I don’t believe tomorrow is the actual day of Christ’s birth but it’s what we’ve chosen to celebrate any way. Santa can have his cookies, that’s just fun … but we’ll be huddled together around a bowl, holding up the hair of our child and waiting for the peace that comes after.