Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Felt Different This Year - Epilogue

Christmas swept me up again. It's a tradition, and I think you know what I mean.

It would be such a waste to not just suck it all up, Hoover-style. I don't know of many other parties that have us buzzing for a solid month before the Big Event, year after year. But with the close of this day, Christmas whistles out my door, and usually, right about now, I'm feeling just a little blue. It makes me sad, the coming down. I've never understood it, but I remember feeling it even as a child.

This year, I'm content. And isn't it funny how clear that blue looks when you view it from a distance?

This year we did things differently.

We opened our gifts on the 24th. We waded around in the mess like always and our hearts burned bright for our family, more whole than last year.

On Christmas Day, we just gave.

No, that's not true.

Let me try again - On Christmas Day, we didn't tear paper from a box, but we received a storehouse of joy, a basket of contentment and a bunker of perspective.

We gave. And in giving, we got. It's a cliche, but cliches are born from truth.

We set that day aside, and I don't imagine us ever going back to the way things used to be.

All throughout the Day, and in the days since, my mind drifted to my friend, who lost so much just a few days ago. This girl is from hardy stock. She has probably always known that she is strong, but I think she's about to surprise even herself with just how strong. In the midst of tragedy, she is rejoicing. She's begging for a pure heart and a clear perspective. She sending me words that bring me to my knees.

She's too far away. I'm too far away. So I prayed.

I pray.

I thought of her while I hugged another.

This world, you know, it needs us to be in it. It needs us to get so close that we smell the smoke in her hair or the alcohol on his breath. The hurts may look different, but hurt is just one of the things that bind us together. Not one of us is immune. Not one of us could imagine when it might be our turn.

The hoopla was a prelude to our party, you'd better believe it. It was fun and relaxing and I wouldn't send it packing. But I've gotta tell you - I've never known the kind of Christmas that holds the creaky hand of a stranger and carries that feeling off into the night.

This year, my soul felt the worth.

So, there's nothing bluesy about me right now. I'm ready for the fresh start of the New Year. I'm excited for whatever comes next. I'm wearing my new slippers and my feet have never been warmer.

It's all so, so good.

*Thanks be to CMB for providing the pictures for this post.


  1. I adore your way with words and am so touched by yourloving sentiments to dear Edie. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and stretching our visions of the beauty of life

  2. You have a gift, a way with words. It is always good to be made from sturdy stock. Life is about believing in the unseen, daring to reach into the darkest depths, and catching our breath when we run headfirst with no regard and abandon for the journey ahead. Believing that there is more, knowing this suffering is but a minute, a stare, a single breath, and being pushed so far that the only thread you are holding onto is faith....but knowing that single thread will hold you for eternity.

    Happy After Christmas Day...


  3. Praying for Edie too. Love your words. Love more that you are grateful and are really being the body with arms reaching. Bless you my friend.

  4. sounds like a blessed and wonderful Christmas....what a way to head into the new year...serving...loving....being the hands and feet here on earth of the one who made us all and loves us completely.

    praying for edie, too, with a heavy heart....wishing I was there to help her all along the way....trusting that God is surrounding with her with exactly the people that she needs to help her each day....

    Happy, Happy New year....celebrating with you that your family was more complete this year. :)

  5. I'm ready for the New Year also...with my new slippers on my feet.

  6. So, what exactly did you give? Curious about the specifics...always the specifics...

  7. Happy New Year to you, I'm glad your Christmas was wonderful with you beautiful family and you passed on the blues!
    We are all praying for our fellow blogger, I have no words, you, always have an amazing way with words!
    Take care

  8. "On Christmas Day, we didn't tear paper from a box, but we received a storehouse of joy, a basket of contentment and a bunker of perspective."

    Like! Like!!!

  9. This entire season was different for us too, and I wouldn't trade any of the memories. It was actually SO MUCH better when I stop and think about it. So much better....


  10. First of all, I love the picture with the cousins in their Christmas pajamas. My most favorite pictures all hold pajama babies captured in time. Love them.

    Secondly, my husband and I did a very small Christmas for each other this year. I can not tell you what a difference that one change made in our budget, stress over a gift, and overall satisfaction of Christmas. Ironically, we both gave each other a book. Perfect! Because we do not receive gifts from elsewhere, it was the one gift we got for Christmas. I love it.

    Thirdly, my grandmother gathered the grandchildren abd great-gradnchildren around the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and told us about a Christmas from her childhood. She spoke of the dough bowl that her mother made bread in for their large family of 10 children. The bowl was placed under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. They would find it filled with fruit and nuts on Christmas morning. I had never heard her tell this story before and I relished every detail of it. This is my best Christmas memory ever.

    Lastly, beginning tomorrow I am beginning a series about our foster care journey on my blog. Tomorrow starts the first chapter. This will be updated each Tuesday. We have had so many people ask us over the past few weeks how we got to where we are with Sweet Potato Pie. I think this will be the best way for me to communicate that.

    Thanks for sharing! I don't know how you do it, but I always feel like I have been on a visit into your home!

    Joy K. in S.C.

  11. Oh Dear. I hadn't heard. I hadn't been to her blog in a few days. My heart is broken for them. I'm praying...

  12. Oh what a lovely, important day. I, of course, am clamoring for more details but perhaps they are in another post...I am catching up over here and it is so fun. Your family is totally rad. Yes, rad.