the day after

I am sitting contentedly amongst the post-Christmas chaos that is our living room. I actually like having bits of paper strewn about and gifts not put away--for a few hours at least! It's disconcerting (to me) when gifts are rapidly opened and before you can sigh contentedly and survey the bounty, gifts, paper and all are whisked away, leaving a naked and barren landscape which gives no indication of the joy just had.
Lest one think that we have allowed our Christmas to ferment and bubble over into the "day after" take heart, for we had our family (of three) Christmas today. It was nice to return home after a busy weekend of gifts, food, and fellowship to a house still decorated, stockings still hung, and gifts still under the decorated tree. It's much less of a letdown.
Sonny wrote in his blog about adjusting to the changes of growing up and being alone on Christmas day. Tuan and I (still leaving and cleaving) have to adjust to different family tradtitions, establishing those of our own, and deciding who to spend Christmas with and when. I grew up with about five different Christmas celebrations (now whittled down to about three), while Tuan had just one. My stocking was filled with practical and fun gifts (with a little candy), Tuan's was pure candy. We took our time opening. Tuan's family opens and finishes so quickly that if you blink, you'll miss it. I suppose my gentle readers get the drift.
We both hate to miss any familial celebrations, so we have decided to start a tradition of having our family (of three and hopefully more) celebrate Christmas on the 26th. Last night (Christmas night) we celebrated advent, drank coffee and opened stockings. It was so fun! This morning, we ate breakfast and opened gifts from each other. Good times. I'll try to post some pics of Christmas later.
The events of last week (Tuan's surgery, for one) made for some craziness and necessitated rearranging my own expectations of Christmas. It got me to thinking however. Every year, you hear: "it just doesn't feel like Christmas," or perhaps, one thinks to oneself: "this isn't what I expected." Perhaps our own failed Christmas expectations are like those of the Jews, the wisemen and others who had these great expectations of the Messiah's coming and found, instead, Jesus lying in a manger, with poor parents and surrounded by animals. Rich Mullins sang: "the hope of the whole world rests on the shoulders of a homeless man."
I was feeling down about a lot of things and so frustrated on Christmas eve. Tuan and I went to the service of Lessons and Carols at Columbia pres. It was manna to my soul. Their pastor, Caleb Cangelosi sang "O Holy Night" which was exactly the spiritual realignment my soul needed. Christmas eve is now my favorite part of Christmas.

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love, and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord, O praise His name forever
His power and glory ever more proclaim

No comments: