Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas glitter

Christmas comes on gradually. First, there's a little glitter in the air, then it falls like snow. Finally, just a little lingers around you like a light perfume. Then it's gone and we seem to forget all about it until the day after Halloween when shopkeepers start decorating and advertising once again.
I love Christmastime because the major way I show love is to give, and the celebration gives me the excuse to shower those I love with crafts, gifts, and food. Too bad this type of love-showing is so expensive, and yet I know that my family would feel loved even without the crafts and gifts. I doubt that they would like to be deprived of the food, though. Nothing says "You are precious to me" like a bowl full of raviolis (a recipe passed down through my Italian ancestors). I won't put it to the test.
The best Christmas of my life, however, had nothing to do really with gifts or food, although they played a big role. When my children were small my husband was laid-off during Christmas. We had barely enough money to buy each of our three children a gift or two, so we were still very happy. We still had a little shopping to do a day or so before Christmas eve and had put on our coats when we heard carolers at our door. I opened the door to enjoy the music and one caroler after another came into the house loaded down with groceries and gifts, and then left. My husband and I just sat speechlessly on the couch for about an hour still wearing our coats. Christmas would have been ok without the help of the singers from my church, but their generosity brought something even more into our house, something strong: a visitor named Jesus. It was a though they left Him behind to sit with us. He wasn't wrapped in a goose-down coat. I'll bet He wasn't as hot as we were.

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