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.