After two weddings and a root canal, we're enjoying Christmas "light" this year. Yes, enjoying.
How freeing to visit Bed Bath & Beyond the week before Christmas with one item to buy - no list needed. I was in no hurry, but everyone around me was. Unencumbered, I nimbly maneuvered past two ladies with carts blocking the aisle. I overheard a snippet of their conversation. They were glad to see one another but had no time to chat. They had long Christmas lists and very little time, you see.
I smiled to myself, browsing the aisle for the item I needed to complete my short mental list of gifts. I felt like a senior citizen out for a weekday stroll through the grocery store amid crazy shoppers on chaotic missions. Only I wasn't the one blocking traffic with a cart, I wasn't buying groceries, and I'm not a senior citizen. Yet. (Never mind that AARP and the Scooter Store added me to their mailing lists right around my 50th birthday. The Scooter Store? Really?) Anyway, I was definitely on a stroll. I love browsing, I had several 20% off coupons, and I'm relishing Christmas this year.
Sure, finances are a bit tight after both of our children's wonderful weddings and my husband's painful (and painfully expensive) dental procedures. But our now-married children have what they need. (At least anything that would fit under the Christmas tree.) Our stockings are filled but not overflowing. Our presents are wrapped and under the tree, rather than engulfing a corner of the living room.
"For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever." I John 2:16-17
Most of all, Christmas "light" is about paring down the stress, enjoying the season, and remembering the reason we celebrate. I'm focusing on faith, family and friends this year. I've taken time to reflect on the Christmas story in Luke 2, walk on the beach with my daughter, and watch Christmas movies with my husband. I've called far away friends, met friends for lunch, visited a friend's home for Christmas carols, and attended a Christmas Tea at church.
Rather than flying by, the season feels like a slow savor. My decorations are fewer, with lots of pine branches from the Christmas tree, scented candles, and our porcelain nativity on the coffee table. (We don't have grandkids yet.) I'm making lots of tea and vegetable soup and not as many cookies. Our simple Christmas dinner will include steaks, potatoes, salad, and one yummy dessert.
It's Christmas Light this year, and I'm loving it. Yet when I do have grandchildren and Christmas gets a bit more complicated, you can bet I'll love that too!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Light Night!
"Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.... The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!" Luke 2:9,11