Over the top Christmas Joy!
The presents are wrapped, menus are scattered over the kitchen table, grocery lists continue, and I soothe my soul listening to the sounds of the season. I am waiting for the family crowd to arrive. They will be hungry, they will need to run to the store for one more gift, and at least one didn’t pack their toothbrush.
When my family gathers for Christmas, one never knows what will happen. I just pray flights are on time, no one decides to get the flu or other maladies before my over-elaborate Christmas spectacular. One of my daughters has sworn off sweets. However, I will woo her back to sugar with my cookies and chocolate confections. One should never come to my house while swearing off sweets or other “bad for you” items. That is what good mamas are for, right?
There is a new addition to our brood this year. Maverick is a curly-haired, brown oversized teddy bear looking animal with a steely determination to eat artificial holly berries. He barks at the food on counters believing it will magically drop into his mouth, and he waits for all passing strangers to pat him on the head or play with him. He has no idea some folks don’t care for a curly-headed, berry eating, barking dogs.
However, I won’t crush his nine-month-old heart.
Every year just before they arrive, I have the house in order; mopped, vacuumed, dusted, and spit-shined. I have no idea why I do such a task because an hour after they arrive, it looks as if a Tasmanian devil ransacked the place. I blame my husband and me for not having a bigger house or adding on to this one.
With five children, four grandchildren, and other visiting relatives between us, we must have forgotten to count bedrooms before purchasing this place.
Yearly, without failure, my husband asks me why there are so many presents under the tree. “Didn’t we all agree to exchange one gift last year?” And, my answer every December is the same, “Well, the three little ones are too young to vote, the teenager would never agree to such a thing, and that contract doesn’t apply to a deranged, out of control, Christmas addicted Grandma.”
I am old enough to know that Christmas isn’t about the gifts, but rather the joy is in the family uniting and rejoicing the birth of the Lord. However, my interior wiring requires bows, wrapping paper, glitter, cookies, and jingle bells to be included in the celebration.
Christmas is the birth of glory and the advent of pure joy. It should be a festival where the world lights the skies with fireworks. Christmas should be a day when we share “happy.”
A day when the swords are put away, the pettiness is locked in safes, and political discussions are banned.
It is Christ’s Birthday for heaven’s sake.
God sent a child to the world, bringing us redemption, peace, and eternal hope.
He lived only thirty-three years but continues to reign in the hearts of all Christians 2019 years later.
To this day, the Bible, which tells his story, is the all-time best-selling book with an estimated 6 billion copies distributed around the world. Churches are in every town and village in all free countries where songs of praise are heard daily. Prayers are petitioned by someone every second of every hour throughout our planet for healing, peace, and forgiveness.
Miracles occur daily without headlines, and people live on after tremendous heartache because their faith gave them the courage and strength to do so.
Christmas is and should always be a birthday celebration of magnitude proportion every single year.
My friend, Linda, passed away suddenly the other day. She was lost in the world of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. During her years of slowly leaving us, I always remembered the vibrant person with the resounding laughter and who never failed to offer an opinion or a prayer. Immediately learning she had left us, I heard her healthy voice return, her laughter booming with a clarity that is difficult to describe. “I’m fine and free.” she declared.
So why should we not be over the top with celebration and song on Christmas?
The truth is we should be. We should be shouting from rooftops that Christ is born and sharing our joy with the world.
The family will gather, the house will be a mess, the curly bear will hunt for berries, the husband will fuss, the food will be endless, and the sweets will be consumed.
And, when it is all over, we will pack away the ornaments, shed the pounds, and folks will return to their homes.
The good news is that one visitor never leaves. We are ‘fine and free’ if we welcome Him into our hearts and simply believe.
So, I will celebrate my sweet Lord with over the top joy, and may each of you have an over the top Merry Christmas.