Monday, 24 December 2012


My families christmas celebrations this year should be called "Snow-pocoalypse". Over the course of the last month we have gone from having 4 cars that live in Alberta to having one. And that one is stuck 2 hours away from where we are having christmas, because of crazy snow. So essentially we have no cars. 3 different families and no car. And another family flying in. It has been called a perfect storm.

And yet, we still all feel some strange magnetic drive to be together on Christmas. Even when it means traveling by planes, trains and.... buses.

And I think that is the magic of Christmas. We travel through imperfect situations and take on extra work so that we can enjoy time together. Much like riding a donkey's back at 9 months pregnant and then giving birth in a stable. Imperfect. Even a little distressing.

But you know, it wasn't as if Jesus was born and a great light shone forth and he was perfect and instantly 31. He was a normal baby. Sleepless nights, getting lost in crowds of people. A regular boy. Probably he was a trial for his mother sometimes. He probably got sick, or hurt himself or misbehaved and caused her a bit of distress. He didn't become "Jesus" instantly and magically.

And I think sometimes we need to approach Christmas this way. This isn't about lists and baking and decorating. This is about preparing our hearts and our minds for what Christmas is about.

We need to remember that wonderful memories and beautiful celebrations are generally found in small moments of kindness and grace. It is in actually working to create peace in our attitudes and cultivating a sense of joy be delighting in others.

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust... But giving the gift of love will endure.
First Corinthians 13, Christmas Version - author unknown. 
We could all choose to fight and be frustrated and stressed about our misfortune in losing all our cars simultaneously. We could all become impatient and have a hard time waiting for buses and taxi's that are much less convenient than just driving our own car. We could start becoming selfish and only focus on the things that matter to us this season.

Or we could remember that we are not the first to have an imperfect holiday season, and be amazed at the grace and endurance that Mary showed. And maybe try to borrow just a little of that for a few days.


  1. Oh my Robin you just made me couldn't have said it any better!! You have truly opened my eyes and every Christmas i will read this over before all the craziness starts ;) Stephanie Raymond