I was hoping for something a little more clever. Something innovative, with a holiday spin you weren’t expecting. But certain things about this season are just right. They fit perfectly and we just shouldn’t mess with them. Like “Peace on Earth.”
I do so wish my own holiday pattern and pace matched the map and clock in my head, my clear vision of organization, a shining example of follow-through and tidiness. I wish I would faithfully take 15 whole minutes each and every day to read something short, sweet, and inspirational written just for this Advent season.
Good golly, Miss Molly. It isn’t as if this is my first rodeo. As if the date for Christmas is announced randomly when Santa gets good and ready. How does it sneak up on me?
There is a sliver of hope, though. My sense of tradition is softer this year. Almost everything will look and feel different for a variety of reasons. Our Christmas Eve dinner and gift opening will be in a different home. A candlelight church service and stockings all around may not be on the agenda. Things will have a little different color or sound or feeling.
But it’s uncharacteristically OK with me. Yes, there will still be meatballs, rice pudding, and cardamom bread. And we will be together – all of us, plus some.
But it will be different and feel strange.
And I’ll be just fine. Happy and fine. Content and fine.
Peaceful. And fine.
So, for this fourth and final Monday, please accepting this blessing of
“Peaceful” looks different for all of us, because we all have a different threshold of chaos and disorder.
You may not have a lot of traditions you’d go to the mat for … but don’t mess with the budget or even think about skipping the annual family tree-cutting event. You may not care how much you spend, but if everyone doesn’t have a stocking on the mantle — Watch OUT!!!
And I’m not suggesting wall-to-wall peace. That’s just too much to tackle.
But, my lovelies, I really pray that your peaceful moments come more often than they did last year. Little by little, I hope you will loosen your grip on some things you believed non-negotiable – the can’t miss – or can’t do. You could rethink the baking extravaganza – one cookie at a time. Maybe this year, oranges, candy canes, old-fashioned chocolate drops and pennies really are enough to fill a stocking.
Maybe not. Maybe diving headfirst into peaceful is too much, adding more stress than relief. I’m not trying to “should” all over you.
But wherever you are this last week before His birthday celebration, I still wish for you a sense of calm – one that you may not have experienced, but one that feels comforting. Spiritual. God-given.
It will take some time before I can completely let go of most that I hold dear. And who knows? There may even come a year when Chicken ala King on biscuits is Christmas Eve dinner and new slippers are Christmas stockings … although I hope not too soon.
This year, it is going to be different for us. Just as good. Just as Christmas. But different.
Except we will have those Christmas Eve meatballs and rice pudding.
And all the peace of Jesus we choose to accept.