How was your Christmas? Let me guess! Everything was picture perfect. It was like you were living in a Hallmark movie. Your house was decorated to the nines inside and out. Your Christmas cards turned out great. You addressed them elegantly, by hand, and sent them out promptly. You finished your shopping early and everyone was delighted with your exquisitely wrapped gifts and home-made bows. Throughout the magical season, the children behaved like angels and the grownups followed suit as you traipsed gaily from one activity to the next where the fellowship was lively and the food delicious. To top it all off, you managed to avoid gaining a single ounce. What? Stop the music! Whatever do you mean? So, you’re saying that’s not exactly how it went down? I understand. Let me try again.
If your Christmas was made into a movie, it might look more like the Griswold’s Vacation than “It’s a Wonderful Life”. You got some of your decorations up but there were a few more things you wanted to do, inside and out, that you just didn’t get done. You were pleased with the way your Christmas cards turned out, except for this and maybe that, and you still have some riding in your purse in need of addresses. You weren’t altogether satisfied with what you gave to whom, but you tried. You’re thinking you need to tone up and shed a few pounds in the New Year— again. Sound familiar, anyone? I mean, besides me.
Our Christmas season was wonderful, but it wasn’t movie set perfect and that’s quite all right with me. For those of us who are willing and privileged to bow before the greatest gift of Christmas, understanding that we can never get it all right is only more reason to celebrate the unconditional love and acceptance we find in the One who came to stay. As the trappings of the season fall away, we are left to enjoy the pure gold of Emmanuel, God with Us. Happy New Year!