It is snowing outside as I write this, and I hear the skiers and outdoor enthusiasts rejoicing along with the children, and children at heart, who are longing for a white Christmas. I’m happy for you!
I’m never that enthusiastic about snow, it might date back to a car accident years ago, where we were hit by a car, head-on, sliding out of control in a blizzard. We were grateful it was a slow slide and other than bruises we were fine, although the car needed extensive repairs. So be careful out there, if you are driving!
A few years back I wrote a piece called “No to Snow”, mostly for amusement, but most who know me, know I’d rather be safe indoors, with a book, by the fireplace.
One of the most favourite fun Christmas songs is “Let it Snow, let it snow, let it snow!” As I’ve pondered life this Christmas Season, I have a new version. I’m singing “Let it Go, let it go, let it go!”
And as I sing that in jest, I’m always drawn to pause through this Christmas season… to let go of expectations, mostly of myself, of “perfection”, of that perfect picture Christmas where all the family gathers, we all get along, everyone is healthy, and no matter how much sugar or calories we consume, we are calm and joyful.
Most of us know this is a false picture, but we long for it anyway. At least I know I do, for the image is sold to us everywhere. These images come from the movies we watch, the Christmas cards we buy, and the advertisers who are convinced they have the perfect gift options. Many of us carry long to-do lists with plans to decorate, bake, shop, and then find time to experience or participate in all the extra activities. And some of them are quite wonderful!
It was my privilege yesterday to bring a group of people to sing at one of our Care facilities. We had not practiced, but brought the old carols, and read the familiar Christmas story from Luke 2. It was a wonderful half an hour with these precious folks. They knew the words… many of them sang. One precious lady who is very well in body, perhaps more clouded in mind, joined the singers with her beautiful voice. I could tell she had sang in choirs, perhaps led them. And the joy she exuded and I felt, along with others, was Christmas to me.
The words of the Christmas carols are so beautiful. My favourite is O Holy Night… where the second chorus reads:
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our Friend.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend.
I sing this and I often am moved to tears…yes, He knows our need, and came in human form to Be with us…
I’ll leave you with this poem I wrote a couple of years ago, it still echos the sentiment of my heart, as we enter this Christmas week. I pray you have time to pause and ponder, to enjoy the moments, to still your hearts, in this season of love.
In all the hurrying
In all the scurrying
For some even the worrying
Right on time.
And as I let go
From the doing
To the being.
Enjoying the moments
cherishing each one
who enriches our lives.
May the love of Christmas
The hope of Christmas
Bring you peace and joy.
©Grace Wulff 2015
O Holy Night lyricist is poet Placide Cappearu 1909-1877, Adolphe Adam put it to music in 1847.