Look more closely. This little cutie isn't a bear. At least, I don't think it is. I think this is a sloth, and that's what I've been this month.
Typically, I rush around buying presents, buying the bags to shove them into--I haven't wrapped packages in twenty years--and even sent cards to those who sent cards to me. Due to social expectations, I made dinner, set the table, had Mel put up the tree, starting late so our company could help him finish it. So he's a sloth, too. Sue him.
Then one year we had deep snow on Christmas day. Christmas, of course, wasn't called off. In fact, the silence and peace of that day, when everyone stayed home to ponder Christ's birth in a new way, was a huge blessing to me. No one to complain because I didn't get all the meat off the turkey bone, didn't make the dressing moist enough, forgot to take the giblets out of the turkey before I placed it all, totally frozen, into the oven to bake. No one snooping through drawers in the kitchen and finding private-very private-notes I sent with Mel's lunches. Ahhh...it was pure peace.
I realize it may have been considered an insult for the innkeeper to send Joseph and Mary out to the barn, but I can imagine having the warm body of my own donkey and no noise besides a sheep bleating every so often must have been more relaxing than an inn full of people complaining about their taxes. But who am I to say? I wasn't there. I do believe it started a precedent, though, because Jesus often retreated to the wilderness when the crowds pressed too closely, wise Savior that He was. I've followed His example as often as I could. It's my favorite.
The Mexicans have a special day, January 6, when they believe the wise men visited Jesus with gifts. Since my stepson's wife, a beautiful and intelligent Mexican woman, is due to have her baby any time, they are hoping the little boy will be born on January 6 to receive a special blessing. I do know seeing that little darling--as well as my stepson, Jason, his wife Kenia, and Jason's mother, Linda--will be a special blessing for me this year.
Until I can get out there, however, I will be hiding out here at home, not attending parties or dinners or exchanging gifts, just spending special time with Mel and my mother and writing and being thankful for the special peace God has given us this Christmas.
If you had your druthers, what would your perfect Christmas be next year--what is peace to you?
Labels: next year's Christmas peace, peaceful barn. Being slothful., Perfect peace, photos by Eugene Arthur Patterson