Christmas Finally Came

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At midnight Christmas Eve, I received a text: “Well, we have unwrapped yet another Christmas . . .” And that’s how I feel this morning, December 26.
Christmas, 2011, is over. The tree stands stripped of gifts. The refrigerator is full of left-overs. The carpet is flecked with odd pieces of ribbon and paper and plastic. The dishwasher is full for a second round. Gifts sit in small piles by person. A large garbage bag stuffed and tied tightly resembles Santas’ the night before. The house is quiet for the first time in a week. Too quiet…
I want to fight it –
I want to get up and buzz around and appear busy and productive.
But I sit in a sugar induced stupor drinking a third mug of coffee instead.
I don’t want to feel the quiet but it comes. It sits inside me like an anchor, grounding me to this moment and place. We have unwrapped yet another Christmas and found it wanting.
Then in the silence my memory releases the tiny bubbles of gifts opened throughout the year, and I feel its spirit descend on me.
Friends surviving surgeries and cancer
Precious moments during trips with children and relatives and friends
An Amish tour, a hike along Oak Creek Canyon,
The Eiffel tower at night, Westminster Abbey
A chocolate crepe outside Notre Dame
4th of July fireworks in OK
6 pieces of published writing with my name just under the title
New friends around a lovely Christmas lunch table reading each others’ work
A note of encouragement from my mentor
Old friends laughing over memories, crying as they bury parents
The ocean at sunset
The crisp autumn leaves under foot in MN
Delivering gifts to church
Watching my son beat his sister at a game for the first time ever
Yelling for a home-state football team as my sister texts with every play Photographs of loved ones on the book shelves, along-side autographed books
A text from someone who had left my life and amazingly returned —
The most unexpected gift of all.
I thank God for his gift of Christmas and for each of those remarkable blessings.
          And, as the text continued: “Jesus Christ showed us that the gift of self will out give all of the rest.” Thank you, dearest friend, for that reminder. I feel that finally, even the day after, Christmas has indeed arrived and I feel humbly blessed.

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