Monthly Musing – December 2018 – Remembering Christmas
I am walking with the dog to the post box
to re-post a Christmas card that was wrongly delivered to us. It’s dark, it’s raining, I’ve forgotten my
mittens and my hands are freezing. The dog is oblivious to the dark, the cold and
the rain and feels that it is his duty to minutely inspect and sniff every bush
and lamp post we pass by. Oh, come on! It’s going to take us forever to get there at
this rate! It’s ten days till Christmas Day. I’ve got cards to write, presents to wrap, (dare
I admit it?) presents still to buy, cooking, cleaning, tidying still to do and
the last place that I want to be is out in the dark, empty streets when there
are a hundred and one other jobs that I should be doing instead.
We cross the road and walk down one of the
streets where the houses and their gardens are lit up with lights and Christmas
decorations. It looks lovely but I’m not
feeling remotely festive. I’m feeling
cold and grumpy. The dog has stopped
again. Oh, come on! I can see the
post box from where I am standing but feel like I’m never going to get there
because the dog is now trying to get under someone’s hedge. Has he no sense of urgency?
At last, I drop the card through the mouth
of the letter box and we turn for home. We’ve
both got our heads down now as we’re walking into the wind and the rain has got
heavier, and it’s not until we need to cross the road again that I look
up. We’re opposite the church, and the
Christmas tree lights from the tall tree outside it are shining and the stained
glass window is lit with a soft glow. I
forget about crossing the road and just look.
And that’s when I remember.
Christmas isn’t about feeling festive.
It’s not about the cards, the presents, the cooking, the cleaning or any
of those jobs that will always need doing.
It’s about a baby. It’s about joy
and peace and new life. It’s about a
moment of stillness for those who celebrate, a moment of listening for those herald
angels who have a song to sing for us.
It’s about reminding my family how much I love them and it’s about being
grateful for having food, shelter, clothes to wear, warmth and love. It’s about so much more than we see on the
surface or in the shops.
I don’t feel cold and grumpy any more. The rain seems to have stopped. And as I see the lights of home, and my
husband and the girls sitting together through the window, and inhale the scent
of the pine needles in the wreath hanging on the door, I remember what’s really
important about Christmas, and I am glad that the card was wrongly delivered to