Christmas is wonderful! I have always looked forward to the day. I still experience the letdown when it has concluded. My focus, admittedly, has often been on the gifts. to be opened by me and those for whom I shopped. I love gifts, especially receiving them. I carried my excitement for the Christmas experience into my marriage. It’s a good thing my husband is the same way.
As a mom, I grew to look forward to Christmas even more, and I didn’t know that was possible! Our oldest will turn 21 this Christmas Eve. Yes, that’s right! What a day to have a birthday. If he had not grown a bit distressed in delivery, he would have had his birthday on Christmas.
I can remember sitting alone with him in the hospital his very first Christmas morning cradling him and staring into his blue eyes. It was an overwhelming moment. I know I was exhausted and my emotions were charged. Tears fell as I rocked him and sang, “Silent Night.” That became Robert’s lullaby, even in the middle of summer. I can barely sing it without getting choked up.
So, for me, as I ponder Child I think of that name as a mother thinks of any of her children she cradles. There is a love that goes beyond anything I have ever felt. It’s a love that is committed to taking care of every need of this tiny one and progresses to the point that you make sure one has leftovers to take back to college the week before exams, and that you silently commit to buy fresh fluffy pillows when you noticed the need while changing sheets of the other.
I think about Mary, the mother of this Child, and I cry as I picture her cradling her first baby knowing what she knew but not fully cognizant of what it would truly mean.
I think about Jesus, the Child, and I am in awe that God would send His Son to this world as an infant who would be raised in a family with human parents and siblings, who would nurse then progress to solid food, who would play peek-a-boo hiding under his baby blanket until his mother uncovered him with giggles. He would learn to talk and walk. He would have chores. He would play with friends before supper. His feet would get dirty and Mary would remind Him to bathe. He would learn a carpenter’s trade with Joseph’s example teaching Him. He would go to the Temple at the appropriate times and He would spend time alone in prayer. He would lead a human’s life, willingly, knowing what His end would be.
I think of God and thank for this most precious gift, and I am overwhelmed.