I’m trying this out. The plan is to blog for each day of Christmas. It is December the 25th, the first day of Christmas, and I’m going to give it a go.
Yesterday I posted about Christmas Eve, specifically about this Christmas Eve and one about 15 years ago. There have been some memorable Christmas days in years gone by, too. This year, the day started out quietly.
There were Christmases in years past when we had to put our youngest son in a high chair in the middle of the room (with a doughnut on his tray), so that we could open presents without complete chaos. This year, only 20-year-old is living at home with me. Even most of our pets have died (two of them this year) so that we only have the one cat, now. So while we would be heading out to oldest daughter’s house later in the day, the morning gift exchange was going to be a very short affair. No matter. It would still be lovely.
So we went into the living room, and I grabbed 20-year-old’s present from under the tree and handed it to her. A Doctor Who 10th Doctor Time Lord fob watch. She loved it. She asked if maybe she shouldn’t open it. I am happy to report that she opened it and remains fully human.
And as we were sitting there I noticed a note from Santa under the tree – with a small box. It said, “Dear Maddie, your husband wanted you to have this. – Santa”
Inside was a beautiful penguin pendant that I knew Don had looked at last year, but, in the end decided not to get. Santa knows how to bring tears of joy to my eyes. Santa wants me to remember that Don was always thinking of me at Christmas.
Then a neighbor dropped by with homemade bread. A Jewish neighbor. I mean, the religion isn’t significant, except this isn’t even their holiday. But they sent their daughter with the homemade bread, and she and 20-year-old have been friends since they were five and four, so the girls got to catch up for a while. That was a lovely thing.
The spirit of Christmas goes beyond anyone’s religion. I say this as a pastor. Yes, if you’re a Christian, then you might want to pay attention to the theology (well, I would hope you would), but at the base of the theology is the spirit of Christmas that transcends any particular religion.
After all, John tells us that in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God…and then:
What came into being
through the Word was life,
and the life was the light for all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.
The light for all people. Today has been about the light.
After the morning’s festivities, we made a quick run to Safeway (as always, there were things I’d forgotten), and then we headed to Oldest Daughter’s. Almost everyone was there at O.D.’s. One daughter remained in TN with her husband, who had to work this week, but the rest of the family was there, even 24-year-old, who is frequently scarce, so BONUS! The house was loud with grandchildren, which was delightful. Twenty-year-old took one of her light sabers with her so that she and seven-year-old grandson could have a light saber battle. He always enjoys those.
We had plenty of good food. There are a lot of good cooks in this family. We exchanged gifts. With all the grandchildren, this isn’t an orderly affair. But it’s kinda wonderful. The gifts are thoughtful. Wonderful things that elicit many hugs. I love that part – the hugs. So much love and light.
I am missing Don this year, but I’m having happy memories, too. I wore the penguin on a black ribbon around my neck today. I’m carrying his light.
So now we end the day, watching Doctor Who. It’s the Day of the Doctor – the end of Matt Smith’s time as the Doctor and the beginning of Peter Capaldi‘s Doctor. I guess that fits for this year. Times change. Things change. And yet, there are some constants.
Christmas comes every year. The Doctor changes in a spectacular flash of light, and the Doctor goes on. We go on. We change, the world changes around us, we grow, and there’s always something new, even in the old things.
Merry Christmas. That’s my mite.