I keep writing, deleting. Writing, deleting.
I just can’t seem to pull something together.
Mostly, I think, it’s because there is an ongoing skirmish simmering low inside me.
It’s all about Christmas, and no matter how much I want to ignore it, I can’t deny that there are two sides to this story – and they both are hunting down prime real estate in my heart.
I want to remember that Little Baby who lay in the manger. I want to transport my mind to be there in the stable with donkey’s breath over my shoulder. I want to peek into the hay, pull back the swaddling clothes and see His warm pink cheeks. I want to feel the warmth of this Baby’s outstretched hand even though our skin might never actually meet.
I want to carry this scene around in my heart whether I’m doing homework duty or morning meditation.
But truly, the tuffle of desires denies me settlement. . . .
I do so fancy gift giving and craft making and holiday eating and celebrating.
I eagerly anticipate the glee and joy on the faces of my children as they first spy the wrapped treasures under the tree.
The importance of finding (or making – aaackk!!) the just-perfect gift for each and every loved one refuses to fade for me.
I want to offer up, to each of my friends, sparkles of joy found in little boxes and jars of lovingly baked and carefully crafted things.
I daydream of benefacting Christmas for a less fortunate family.
I donate little bits here and there, and there and here.
I want to celebrate the Christ of Christmas, family, kindness, and goodwill; but how and why does this seem, every year, to get tangled up and twisted into something other than what it was meant to be?
Every year, all these things that are borne of such good intention turn life into a frenzy of too much of everything.
Too much stuff, too much work, too much money, too much stress, too much grouchiness, and wanting, and headaches, and over-scheduling, and feeling like we’re coming unraveled.
We do this to ourselves.
(Maybe you don’t??? Do tell!)
We do, and there may just be beauty in it.
Because in breaking ourselves, here is where we will find ourselves desperately lacking and turning back towards that Baby.
We’ll throw our hands into the air and cry our frustrations out, and then we’ll turn to look at that twinkling nativity and throw the rest of it to, well. . . you know.
Whatever we’ve done up to this point is suddenly more than enough.
Throwing in the towel.
From here on out, the focus has got to be on Love.
Even as I write this, I know I still have things to do. I’ve got three days of baking and mailing left to do.
I know if I claim to be done, I’ll be lying.
I promise you this though, I am downgrading.
I’m moving my ambitions from royally iced snowflake sugar cookies (easily three hours) to peppermint bark (7 minutes) and drop cookies.
Instead of another batch of cupcake cookies, I’ll opt for muffins.
Instead of shopping for individual teacher’s gifts, I’m buying online Amazon gift cards, because that works for everybody.
I’m going to force myself to sit quietly and breathe deep for a few minutes of every day and contemplate that Little Baby that entered the world with such understated bedazzlement.
I might be on to a new Christmas theme. . . .
If you’ve been here since the beginning, you’ve seen these guys before.
This time though, they’re bite size and minus the pecans.
I would say too, that they’d be hunky dory without the toffee pieces – if you’re fresh out of toffee pieces.
If you’re not so into nutmeg, they’d still be dee-lish with cinnamon only.
The thing is, they’re a cookie.
Shaped like a cupcake.
And filled with frosting.
As my grandma would say, ” ‘Nuff said.”