Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas is Messy

I have this idyllic image of Christmas in my head.

It goes something like this:
I calmly and peacefully
enjoy each precious day of December
counting down to the glorious day.
I float from stress less shopping at the mall where all the ideal gifts are free and fancifully wrapped,
to effortless Christmas pageant rehearsals where the children and I always remember our lines.
Smells of gingerbread mingle with pine
as I wake up to my perfectly tidy and pristinely clean house where the
tree is decorated,
the stockings are hung,
and each hall is decked out in Christmas glory.

But the startling reality bombards me. 
It goes something like this:
I scream through
each exhausting day of December
dreading the impending arrival of the anticipated day.
I race through shopping malls looking for gifts to express my appreciation and love
for mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, dear friends, teachers, bus drivers etc.
wishing that my bank account and I were both inexhaustible.
I arrive at Christmas pageant rehearsal
praying that my children and I will remember our lines
and find a suitable costume
in time.

I wake up wishing I could smell the iced balsam candles
over the lingering scent of last night's supper and wondering if today might be the day that I 
move and throw into the sea
the mountain of laundry in my basement.
I hope that tonight
when I lay me down
there will be some presents wrapped and under the tree.

But as I sit here
far too early this morning
I wonder about
Jesus' mama
and how she felt that first Christmas day.

When a beautifully perfect baby boy was
born into a
to travel weary parents
experiencing a very chaotic socio-economic atmosphere.

Let's face it:
Christmas is messy. 

So I think I might just
drop the idyllic image in my head
and embrace the reality that Jesus was also
born into this messy life.
He came to make us clean
and free
and full of peace.

I will probably spend the rest of the days of this month
scurrying around trying to get everything done.
I'll probably enter January
utterly exhausted.
But in this moment
I am putting a new idyllic image in my mind.
It's the one above
of Mary and Joseph
holding that precious baby Jesus
in the middle of their messy, chaotic,
and hard to understand circumstances.

I pray that both you and I will
experience the embrace
of the Saviour
this season.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.


  1. BEAUTIFUL, Terri!!!!!

    I call it, "navigating the earth"!


  2. right on. that's all I can say. Have a very, very Merry Christmas!

  3. Hi Terri!
    I had to come over and check you out after your radtastic comment on my blog, and this post has me in tears! Gah! You so hit the nail on the head with this one...Christmas is messy.

    I am your newest follower:)


What you say means so much.