That's what we'll be celebrating in just a few days. The bulletins are already done for the Christmas Eve service. They're not printed, but they're done. It seems to be coming fast. Too fast, I might say except that Advent has provided the pause that I needed. I have remembered how to pray. I've found new vocabulary for God. I've slowed down.
And yet, the possibility of Christmas makes my heart race. It makes me panic, not because of the stress of being a pastor at Christmas but because it means that I'll be alone. It means that I have to figure out how I will celebrate this fabulous event after the candles are blown out and the church is locked. I've been invited to celebrate with families -- but there is nothing more depressing for me. The truth is: I want to be with my family. I miss Christmas Eve with my family and I don't know if I'll ever get that back or if it will remain a fond memory. For now, I can't go home so every year, I get to this point in the Advent season and begin to stress about how to celebrate the most depressing time of year for a single woman.
This isn't about depression though. This is good news because tonight I had dinner with a friend whose children and grandchildren will be far away on Christmas. They invited her along, of course, but she's like me. We're single women who don't really want to be the invited guest who had no where else to go. Again, that's depressing and doesn't really seem to embrace how I experience the Christ child. The incarnation of Christ is about worshipping and celebrating with those that you call family -- those that you choose to be part of your life. And so, tonight we hatched a plan to have dinner together on Christmas. Maybe we'll cook. Maybe we'll sip wine and munch. Either way, we'll be together and this is good news.
Image: Christmas Gifts: Daylight, and Christmas Gifts: Dawn by Eric Gill (1882-1940)