December 24, 2015
A Note from Ollie
“I’m ready for this party to get started!”
“The Grandkids are coming that means I’ll be cleaning up the floor tonight! Can’t wait!”
This popped up on my Facebook timeline this morning, and I lost it. There’s no Ollie this year here, they’ll be no grandkids here for our annuel Christmas Eve celebration because of my condition. I do have a lot to be gratful for though. My family and friends who have done so much in these past few weeks to make things easier for me. And we are still having our celebration at Shannon’s this year as our kids pitch in together to carry on our family traditon. Letting others do things for me is not easy, but has been a good lesson in humility. In turn I’ve been blessed with much grace. I guess the lesson for me is to remember with change comes much pain, and yet beneath it lies the grace that gets us through it.
Merry Christmas and may we all be blessed with a health happy New Year!
I was thinking today that this will be my 63rd Christmas celebration in my lifetime. Wow! I know, that’s a lot of Christmases when you look at it that way. When I was a child, I was more excited about what I was going to get under the tree than for what Christmas actually stood for. When I had my own children, I tried to teach them that it was Jesus’s birthday we were celebrating. As much as a child can try to articulate the true meaning of Christmas it still takes a backseat to the anticipation of the gift beneath the tree. The true meaning comes with time, maturity and the challenge that faith brings into our life.
There’s nothing I really need or want at this point in my life, materialistic anyway. However, there’s still a bit of that child in me that lights up with an unexpected surprise. But the real gifts come when our consciousness is in line with the spirit within us. It is than that I am able to wrap my mind around all the gifts that Jesus’s birth has to offer. It is than that I get down on my knees and look beneath the tree for the gifts that are hidden from sight. There is always a gift to be unwrapped at Christmas time, and many times it’s the same gift over and again. Like the gift of love, hope, joy, faith, forgiveness, gratitude, friendships and family. Celebrating Christmas for 63 years has giving me the opportunity to reopen these gifts over and over again, but each time seems like the first. With the same childlike anticipation I’m eager to gather up my gifts, and let the spirit of Christmas lead the way into the New Year.
“I’ll be home for Christmas”
You know this familiar song at Christmas time. It congers up all the wonderful comforting feelings that come with retuning “home” again. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things about going away on vacations is at the end when I walk through my front door. “Home!” ET pointed up toward the sky as he longed to find a way back to his planet. “I’ll be home for Christmas” those five words keep playing in my head, but with a different slant upon its meaning. It’s more of a coming back to that from which I’ve come in the spiritual sense.
Symbolically we all eventual leave home like the prodigal son wanting to explore and experience life for ourselves. There is a pull toward “something” unknown, and our need to find out what it is drives us. So we set out on our journey, getting lost along the way many times. Like the prodigal son ,we begin to wonder aimlessly until that longing for “something” leads us back to that from which we came, “home.” But like ET, our desperate need to find a way home looks impossibly. If we listen we can hear those five words playing in our head pointing the way that we long to go, “I’ll be home for Christmas. For it is in coming home for Christmas that we are reminded of why Jesus was born. He came to show us the way back home to where we belong. We all must come to that point when we long to come home once again for Christmas. Upon our return ,we realize what we’d been searching for all along was right here where we left it. What we realize at the time of our return is how necessary the journey away was. For it is only in the leaving that we learn what we had all along, and it is in the retuning that the meaning of “coming home for Christmas” is truly understood.