Monday, January 3, 2011

Life after Christmas

It was our first Christmas with a toddler.  I will admit there were things that we wanted to do that didn't happen but there was grace.  Many of our decorations are in random parts of the garage which has now been remedied.  Tiny fingers made us a bit cautious in where to put things.  Miss L is fascinated by the Baby Jesus in our manger scene that can either be in the manger or in Mary's arms.  We find her in wide-eyed wonder at the scene more often than not.  My hope is that she would still have a wide-eyed wonder about it when she is 30 - the Creator of the Universe coming to dwell with us...coming as a baby.  How creative.

There had been a flutter of people talking about all the mishaps of post-Christmas chaos.  Kids snapping, toy over load, parents snapping, long days, this that or the other.  I started thinking about this a bit.  The whole holiday season is a bit like a birth.  Both good and bad that comes from the experience.  However, as my husband reminds me in many situations, it's how we opt to respond to these things in the midst of it all that will determine the ultimate outcome.  If we respond with a poor attitude rather than gratitude then a negative outcome is inevitable.

Like in the days and weeks that lead up to a birth there is a blissful glow to everything an expectant mother does.  She is happy in anticipating the arrival of the little life that she has been nurturing for the past nine months.  Sure there are days that she waddles more than other or her back hurts -- but the anticipation overrides it all.  Just when she thinks she cannot wait any longer the baby arrives.  There is pushing, huffing, maybe loud groan here and there.  Then.  Relief.   All is quickly forgotten as she holds her little baby in her arms.  Then there is the afterbirth.  If you have had a baby you know what I mean... it's messy.

All this is what I have been thinking about in terms of the Christmas holiday season -- which by the way does not end officially until January 6, folks.  (The 12 Days of Christmas refer to the days AFTER Christmas, not before.  FYI.)

There is great anticipation for the day however you may celebrate.  There are probably some aches and pains getting there.  Then there's the moment of great joy and exhilaration of the culmination of things awaited.  Then.  The afterbirth.  Things are messy.  Maybe your kids are snapping at each other and are on toy and sugar over load.

I'm not saying it has to be this way but how we respond is what we should be highly aware of in ourselves.  If our children are snappy are we snapping back at them?  Or are we redirecting their hearts back to the manger scene?

I write this more for myself than I do for anyone else.  Ultimately the manger points to the cross and the cross to an empty tomb that leads to life.

I want to breathe that on my children during this time of year...

...all year.

No comments:

Post a Comment