Pondering CHRISTmas

Here I am sitting here on Christmas Eve waiting on sons to arrive some time on Christmas Day.  I’ve been reading through posts and email and glancing at all the Merry Christmas wishes going out to friends near and far. I wonder, what has changed about the Christmas season for me?

I remember as a child the excitement of waiting to see what Santa brought.  Trying to stay up late in the night to catch Santa in the act. Listening to the Christmas story at the different churches we attended.  And the feeling of excitement waiting to see the looks on family members faces as they opened the presents I gave to them.

As a young single adult in the military, I would decorate my room or apartment with lots and lots of lights.  And spend time with friends since family was so far away. Not a whole lot of time was spent in church in these years.  But still I believed.

When I got married for a few years while my sons were young, I would put up lights outside our door.  But I stopped when I realized that I was the only one doing it.  My husband wasn’t raised in a decorating family and it was up to me.  It just wasn’t Christmas decorating alone.  So for many years we simply had a Christmas tree.

It wasn’t long before Church became important to me again, I knew that only by spending time in worship would my heart feel whole.  Many years have been spent singing in the Christmas Cantatas at the various churches we have called home. I can’t tell you how many blessings I have received over the years by friends that didn’t care if I could carry a tune or not, but simply wanted me to be there to participate in worship. They made me feel happy and welcome and I loved being able to rejoice and make a joyful noise even when it was off tune.

A few years ago, after they graduated high school, one of my sons went out and bought me some outdoor Christmas lights.  Each year one or the other puts them up for me when they are home.  The tree is kept in the attic so there it will remain until one son or the other comes home for a visit.  Neither my husband nor I can brave that creaky attic ladder.  Last year we didn’t get the tree up until Christmas Eve and it was taken down just as quickly. We had to have it put away before the son’s left or it would remain standing all year.  This year, I bribed my oldest son into playing Santa at the Library so we have had our tree up for a couple weeks now. He and his girlfriend also put up the outside lights up while they were here. I also had them decorate the tree and it turned out beautifully.

So what has changed?  This year as I reflect I realize that it isn’t about the decorating or the lights or the food.  It isn’t even about what day we open gifts.  It is about the time spent with family.  The joy that I feel when I can look around my dinner table and see the smiling faces of my son’s and their ladies can’t be measured.

Being a Mom, I can just imagine the joy and sorrow that Mary went through the night her dear son was born.  As soon as she became pregnant she knew he was the Messiah, she knew he would do great things.  There was no way for her to know just what he would go through 33 years later to save the world, but I think she had to know deep down in her heart that her son would not be with her for as long as she would hope. Was she able to find peace when he was gone?

I watched my sons with their friends growing up, watched them play in a youth band, listened to their broken hearts when a girl had broken up with them. Watched them grow up to be wonderful young men and find wonderful women to spend their lives with. I wonder how Mary felt as she watched her son travel the roads with his band of friends that we call disciples. For they had to be friends in one way or another, they spent so much time together.  Did she love them like sons too?  Did she forgive them for their betrayals? Did she know and comfort their mothers as they too lost their sons in one way or another?

When I listen to this song each year, I have to think that yes she knew and understood that the little boy she carried was and is the GREAT I AM.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. marlettawerner
    Dec 25, 2015 @ 00:34:03

    Merry Christmas. Charlene and family. Wish we could be together again for Christmas.
    John and Bill helped me put up lights for the Christmas tree outside in memory of Scott. Scott used to do most of the lights outside with me. I didn’t do a tree inside this year because I have two new kittens and they would have a ball tearing it up while I slept. John and family will be here for Christmas dinner and Andrea and family will have a Christmas with us later when they can make it. William is spending the weekend with his dad for a change and going to see his grandparents on his dad’s side which is great so we don’t have a problem waiting on Christmas with them because we get to see them way more often than his dad’s family. Take care. Live and miss you, I’m so greatful you came to be with me after Scott passed, I appreciate it so much. I’m getting a little better, only crying a few times a week instead of daily. Christmas is hard for John and me, I try to spend a lot of time with John so he deals with it and doesn’t take his feelings out on his girlfriend and kids. This year was better than last. Love you
    Merry Christmas

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    • CharleneMcD
      Dec 25, 2015 @ 11:10:13

      Love you too dear sister. We are having a very quiet Christmas day, the boys won’t be in until late this evening or tomorrow morning so we are just taking it easy enjoying the quiet. Got to sleep in today for a little while which was good. Miss you all, all year long, but seems like it is more during this season then the rest of the year. Give your kids lots of hugs from Auntie Char and tell them I love them too.

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