Well, Christmas is very nearly here. The trees are trimmed, the stockings are hung and the presents are wrapped... sort of. This is the day when those in my household are scurrying through the house, furtively clutching bags to our chests, hoping others don't see them. There are the hollers, "Honey, where are you?" "Up here." "OK, stay there." Bags and receipts are quickly stashed under furniture (thank goodness for skirts on chairs!), to be put in a better place at the first good opportunity.
Hot spiced cider is meditating in the slow cooker on the kitchen counter. Fresh-baked cookies are waiting to be set out on a plate for Santa. Christmas music plays on the radio, leading to impromptu singing and dancing as we enjoy the day. Later, my daughter and I will be baking coconut cakes for tomorrow, and I'm sure my husband will take maximum advantage of our distraction.
Then, tonight, things will slow down considerably. After dinner, we'll head out to the local Moravian church for their Christmas Eve Lovefeast service, something I've wanted to experience for several years. We'll enjoy koinonia (Christian fellowship), agape (Christian love) and that sense of being kindred, as we enjoy music and the opportunity just to stop... and reflect and meditate on the true meaning of Christmas. Afterwards, the Princess will be asleep, and Hubby and I will put in "It's a Wonderful Life" (his favorite holiday movie) as we assemble Santa gifts.
Then we will go to bed, warm, comfortable, snuggled in each other's arms, trying to grab as much sleep as possible before we hear "Mommy, did Santa come last night?" And in the warm, quiet night as we drift off, I'll remember a night - just as cold, if not colder - more than 2,000 years ago, when a young new mother had only a feeding trough in which to lay her newborn son, and there was no escaping the drafts of cold wind creeping through the stable. There was little sleep to be had that night, as animals lowed and stirred and shepherds came calling, telling her and her husband what they knew: "Unto you is born this day, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."
Merry Christmas, everyone! Peace on Earth, and goodwill to all people.
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