This Christmas has been the best one I can remember in many years. I am so surprised at the incredible ways emotional healing has spilled over into areas of my life about which I had not given much thought. Christmas was one of those places I had not anticipated.
Take today, for example. Today was a little stressful, but only because I was dealing with three teens who were not exactly on my timeline or agenda. (*Gasp* I realize this may come as quite a shock, but my children are like any other children and sometimes do not obey me perfectly.) The chores eventually were accomplished (as in the last bit of cleaning was being done as the first van arrived), so other than dealing with the “I don’t really want to do my chores” attitude, it was a pretty laid back day. Which was good because we had twenty-five people seated around three tables for dinner tonight.
We love to fellowship with our friends. It is such a blessing to have people in our home and know that they feel comfortable being in our home. I have wasted too many years fretting about the fact that my house is not as pretty as I would like, not as big as I would like, not well-decorated or even well-kept. But it is home, and I hope that people feel like it is home when they come. One of our guests said that her children cheered when they found out they were coming to Ms. Andrea’s house. She said they all enjoy coming to our home. It was the highest compliment anyone could ever pay me. And I felt not one twinge the need to apologize for my house or, for that matter, anything. I felt at ease in my own skin. That was something I had not anticipated: the peace that comes when a person no longer has to “measure up”. I think I am finally learning what it means to feel content in our home.
We had a glorious bounty of food tonight. A turkey, a ham, a few salads, potatoes–both decadent mashed and souffle sweet, and my friend’s famous herb bread. And then dessert. I went a little overboard on the desserts (as I always do) and actually talked each family into taking home the left-over pies. Whew. Sensible diet plan preserved!
As I write this, the dishes have all been done, the counters are all clean, and I can hear the comforting sound of the washing machine doing its job on the dirty tablecloths. Another Christmas party accomplished. And aside from all the left-overs in my refrigerator upon which we will be feasting over the next few days, we will be basking in the glow of this Christmas season for a while to come. I was relaxed, I didn’t sweat the small stuff, I yelled far less at my children than in years past, and I actually took time to savor the savior. For He is the real reason we do all this–the shopping, the wrapping, the special church music, the decorating, the Christmas party. It is all in celebration of the Christ child. I think we actually kept the main thing the main thing this year. And it was glorious.
We will continue to enjoy the memories of this Christmas season for a while to come. The laughter and tears we have shared, the friendships renewed after the sending of Christmas letters, and the renewed sense of peace will be remembered long after the decorations are packed up, the left-overs are eaten, and the kids come down from their sugar high. I am ready for the new year, but not because I am so glad to see this one go. Rather, I am eager to see what the Lord will bring us in 2012. To borrow a song lyric, I truly have a peaceful easy feeling. Emotional healing. Who knew?
I hope next year finds me feeling this relaxed. One can only hope.