Sunday, December 18, 2016

A colonoscopy made him think of me... a Christmas message

To spread some Christmas cheer, let me give you a list of things that make me the most Scrooge-like.  

1.  When Kid 2 uses all the hot water in the shower and I only get to shave my left leg before the water turns icy cold.  

2.  When people get so Christmas crazy that they're mean to the sweet ladies in the return line at Kohl's.  

3.  When people honk for absolutely no reason.  And then there's so much rage honking that I get confused about what the heck is going on.  Please tell me that you're not a honker... ever.  If you are, we cannot under any circumstances be friends.  

Anyway, that's my short list... there are far more than that, and sadly, that's usually how I feel around the holidays.  I find it more than interesting that Christmas has become such a huge part of our culture, when really if you break down all the pieces, most days are about the shopping and the rush to get to the actual day - and more often than not, to get through the actual day.   Seriously, did Mary and Joseph ever run out to the Walgreens 30 minutes before a White Elephant gift party to buy a gag gift? 

Yes, I'm a little grumpy today.  Because I really wanted to shave my right leg along with my my left, but also because it's 20 degrees outside and I'm opposed to that in every way.  And I woke up last night at 3AM to put the dog out and found the back door unlocked.  But it was perfectly timed because all the murderers and thieves were too cold to get out and take care of business anyway. 

And I lost my keys last night which sent me into a fuss.  And not because I needed to go anywhere  - but because we may need to go somewhere.  Like in an emergency.... say an alien attack or as my kids predict, zombies.  But really what if we had just a regular old kind of emergency like sickness or accident or whatever?  I like to be prepared.  Anyway, Fireman Dave hung up the phone telling me I was making him nervous about the keys, and Kid 2 tucked his crazy mom safely into bed as he proceeded to hunt for them.  He also told me my shirt was on backwards and reminded me to put in my retainer.  Because I'm obviously showing signs of needing elder care.  

Today I'm trying my best to spread a little Christmas joy and cheer around the house - be it in small batches.  I've put out a portion of the decorations because I specifically asked that we have a minimal theme this year for my sanity.  And thanks to Kid 2, the tree was up the weekend after Thanksgiving.  And today I decided it would be a grand time to switch out my comforter set to the one that smells like musty linen closet.  So I'm doing all that laundry while making fudge and in between telling the kids to study for their final exams and put down their damn phones.  And I am, as you can see, making zero progress in my efforts to stop saying damn. 

I am a picture of jolly. 

But this is good.... the weekend after Thanksgiving, I got a text from an old college beau wishing me and mine a good holiday.  Something about shopping at Walmart always stirs fond memories of me in his mind because this is always when he reaches out.  Maybe it's the cheap prices, the harsh lighting and the all around warm fuzzy feeling we all get when we shop a Walmart super store.  But how sweet of him nonetheless. 

But holiday wishes and stuff aside, he also told me to think of him the next day as he prepared for his upcoming colonoscopy.  And that message,  my friend, is a sign of a long lasting bond.  But more than that, it's an example of how even the smallest amount of reaching out and sharing with others builds relationship.  I told him that it warms my heart to know that a colonoscopy made him think of me, but y'all, it's something.  And those little somethings speak volumes about what's in a person's character and in his heart.  

This year I lost my dearest friend, and Christmas just won't feel the same.  I'll miss our annual Christmas Eve church service followed by pizza party.  I'll miss comparing lists and shopping, and trying to fit a big TV into the back of my car under the cover of darkness.  But what makes it better are the people who say to me, I know you miss her.  Because those words mean they know me and they care enough to feel hurt alongside me.  

But here's the plain and simple fact about Christmas.  In fact, take this as fact all year round and feel free to use me as a reference.  To celebrate Christ, all we have to do is look at ourselves, recognizing our long lists of faults, ailments and forgotten places;  Look at our small efforts to spread joy and create a home for the people that we love;  Look at the day to day relationships we build by being the hands and feet of Christ in the world - (y'all, in plain English, that just means to be nice and good to others);  Look at the gifts that you give others every day in word and in deed, and especially in thought and prayer - and you are, even without gift wrap, sharing the love of Christ.

The greatest gift is that he came to the least likely of families, and in the least perfect of places.  And he came into our lives without a whole lot of preparation on our part.  He just came - into our busy lives, our messy homes, our less than sincere observance of his sweet birthday.... and he said helloThen he said, I love you.  I love YOU.  Just the way you are, as the Elton John song says. 

And he asks only that we give of what we can and do it for his glory.  So that when others see?  They won't say, Wow Kristi, look at your gorgeous holiday decorations, they'll see a home where my family finds a resting place, where we watch silly Christmas movies, and eat an entire pan of fudge in an afternoon. 

Today I give my small efforts at shopping and giving and cooking and preparing.  And then I'm resting in the knowledge that all those things are already a gift to someone.  I don't have to give the greatest, because that's already been done.

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