12.13.2007

Reclaiming Christmas

This is one of those posts that I'm going to get a lot of virtual hugs. So, I'm going to start by politely stating -- please don't offer me any hugs. None of this: ((Pastor Peters)). She doesn't need ((this)). She just needs to think aloud. And maybe get some amazing insight here and there without it becoming a pity party. Because it's not. It's not a pity party at all.

A few weeks ago, I read this article on Fidelia's Sisters. And since then, I've been trying to figure out how to be gentle with myself.

It has also invited me into completely new territory. By the way, I love new territory. I'm uncertain and nervous -- but a little part of me is ready to conquer it all. Punky Brewster comes to mind, for no certain reason. That's Punky, by the way in her very own Christmas special. Anyhow, this gift of gentleness has invited me to think about how I could reclaim Christmas.

I am a young, single pastor in a town far, far, far away from my family. There are no little itty bitty violins. I miss my family -- but I'm not racing home to see them. There is nothing appealing about getting in my car at midnight on Christmas Eve after leading three worship services to drive six long hours. Actually, it would be further. It would be eight hours to my grandparents (assuming that there is no traffic in the city). There is nothing appealing about an all-night drive to arrive glazed over like a donut to open stockings. Nope. I would rather sleep late. Sleep really, really late.

But because I'm not with my family, I really don't want to spend this holiday with another family. This just makes me miss my family more. I don't want that. I don't want the reminder of what I'm missing. That's depressing -- even if it offers a great meal.

Instead, I want to find some magical way to reclaim my holiday. I want to do something totally different. My lament is that I have no idea what that could be. I'm not sure where to turn because it's so new and so exciting. I want this day of freedom to be my Christmas miracle -- a day that is so unique that I find a new way to celebrate the incarnate God. And so, I continue my search like the wisepeople.

9 comments:

ymp said...

Finding myself in similar, but not yet identical conditions, I have been reflecting on these lines from the BCP: "Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families...enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one to another." The rest of the prayer is a bit more obviously about nuclear families, but I like these lines. I don't have much more than that, but so far it's been a comforting start.

LittleMary said...

oh i just want to hug you! but i am not going to, nope i am not. i hear ya sister...and so thankful for you as you embark on the newness of this journey!

Anonymous said...

I'm unsure of my own plans, having not found anyone to watch my animals. (Drive them home with me--for 2 days each way? stay here? what to do?) and have contemplated sleeping really, really late, making shrimp (my favorite) and watching movies all day. It's pretty much how I spent Thanksgiving, and it was very relaxing. PPB

"PS" (a.k.a. purple) said...

You wrote (and spoke) with great clarity. I so hear you. Thanks for posting these thoughts...my mind works in similar lines.

Songbird said...

Since I am at great risk, for my own selfish reasons, of inviting you to do what you don't want to do for your perfectly good ones, I'll just say I like what you said and I love that picture.

apbs said...

i know a couple who started feeling like christmas day was a letdown b/c for them the fun had already been had (they had grown children with families of their own), so they started cooking brunch on christmas and inviting other random people over (they love to host). they've been doing it fifteen years or so now. obviously a different situation, but i'm encouraged by their creativity.

Pastor Peters said...

songbird, i love you because you're a good friend. and you're honestly selfish. i love that being selfish for you means wanting me among your family. that means a lot to me.

Teri said...

I live 2000 miles from my family, and there is NO WAY I'm going there. So they've taken it upon themselves to come here. It sounds nice in theory but what it really means is not having my house to myself, needing to be a good hostess and to entertain two family members who don't really get along, AND write two sermons and lead 8 worship services in two days. I don't think they realize how overwhelming and stressful that is and that, really, I'd rather sleep in and be with my cats at Christmas.

I know, I'm a bad person. Oh well. ;-)

Songbird said...

:-)