Christmas Expectations

Happy Healthy
 Family Togetherness
Beautifully Decorated Tree
 Perfectly Chosen and Wrapped Gifts
  Norman Rockwell Turkey on the Dining Table
Contemplative Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
Sparkling Red and Green Family Portrait Around the Tree
My first clue should have been with the fabric sweet thing
granddaughter picked out at the quilt store -
she even drew a picture of the finished project for me.
Five bolts of cotton that were anything but pink or dainty.
While I sewed, and prayed, and ripped, and sewed, and prayed,
I laughed about this girl and I named her quilt
"She had better remember picking it out" I thought.

When we were finally packed and on the plane headed south,
I was the person no one wants to sit by:
you know, the one who is coughing, sneezing, shivering,
 and blowing her nose.
Sure enough, the person sitting next to me
took his 24 hour turn in the bed after I crawled out.
The plans for the perfect trip home were wadded up in a box of tissue.
The deer hunt was cut short, there were no visits with neighbors,
no last minute gift shopping,
no beautiful Christmas sweater or decorations.
I've talked to so many people whose Christmas Disappointments
were huge - HUGE
death, divorce, broken relationships,
different expectations within the family
and loneliness.
What about those children whose names we pulled from the
Salvation Army Christmas Giving Tree?
We had their wish lists in hand -
but what were their deepest wants and needs?
Our Wonky Christmas turned out peaceful and quiet
 at daughter and son-in-law's new house.

One thing I am learning in my long life is contentment.
Sometimes I get it.

Paul said it best,
"...for I have learned to be content
 whatever the circumstances."
(Philippians 4:11)

He said it from jail...

Participate instead of Anticipate 
and life works much better.
The Christmas Eve Service at the Mega Church
where we needed a ticket to get a seat,
was itself a bit Wonky -
instead of candlelight and organ music like my church in
North Dakota was enjoying at the same time,
we worshipped with a light show, guitars, and drums.
It was wonderful!

We did a little crazy fun cooking

and this girl's Wonky Christmas cake just may be her tradition.
We ate when we felt like it - which was pretty much all the time
without the fanfare of a sit down meal at the table!
Disappointments happened in the form of math homework -
all the holiday long.
But the not so math nerdy boy
made the best of his disappointments
even with the warning from the dad:
" you know that's gonna be on the blog"
And that Wonky quilt?

"It's the blanket I wanted!",
I was relieved to hear.
That family Christmas picture I thought I needed
where the twinkle of the Christmas lights
form the perfect backdrop to the family
all decked out in their Christmas finery...
was not to be
because the old tree was too small for the new house,
and no one owns a red shirt, and nobody like pictures,
and the grandmother was having a really bad hair day
and didn't put on lipstick.

But aren't they the most beautiful family ever?
While the children rode new bikes in the freezing twenties,
 Papa and I recuperated from the
North Dakota Crud (cold? flu?whatever),
  ate chocolate and party mix and cake
and watched the sands of time slip by,

And the angels, shepherds, wisemen, cattle, sheep, and townspeople
crowded around to see their Creator
who came to them disguised as a tiny baby-

to bring Shalom 
( peace and love and joy and healing and contentment)
to us living in a crazy disappointing world.

I hope you can turn away from your disappointments
and just look to Jesus for your hope,
Because He never disappoints.
Merry Late Wonky Christmas
from our
Wonky Little Family!
 and Happy New Year Too!


1 comment:

  1. What a precious blog. I wondered how long it took you to do that perfect word tree. TeeHee! And oh my, was Christmas different for lots of folks?!?
    Hope things are back to normal... whatever that is.


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