wonderOnce a week my smallest person and I hurry home to eat lunch at the dining room table. We sit across that wide oval expanse and he sings, talks, tells me he was the leader today. Except it’s “weader.” His eyes are a sea of smooth caramel brown lit with joy, wonder and mischief. He got them from my husband and I’m ever so glad it’s a heritage that continues. His eyebrows dance up and down over his forehead as he sings about Rudolph with so much gusto and expression.

I am tired and this is the moment when I decide that I am not going to try to manufacture Christmas this year. It’s a weight I’ve carried over and over each year as my heart strains to make this season magical for my children. To rediscover the wonderment I felt when I was a child.

There is nothing more magical than God made flesh, than a warm little Christ baby carrying the full weight of redemption and rescue in every coo and every baby mew. It’s the only magic that fills full and doesn’t leave dried up desperation.

We still have twinkle lights and paper garlands. We cut snowflakes out of rationed computer paper just the other day. Santa will still come. We even got our children a dog. A dog. But all these things? I am choosing to do out of love and because He first loved me. Not because it is a race to fill up their cups with as much magic and wonder as possible before December 25th.

And when that soft and beautiful and strong night comes? I am praying that my heart will be still instead of busy and that I will know wonder like never before, trusting that God will work His eternal, not my ways, faithful, real and wonderful magic in my children’s hearts, too.

Merry Christmas, friends.

4 thoughts on “wonderment.

  1. Ellen, I love this. I am sitting here. Christmas Day. Tired. I have been running since Thanksgiving (alas, not the kind that burns calories) all in an effort to make Christmas “special”. As if it weren’t special enough all on it’s own. I had wonderful intentions…a Jesse tree ornament and devotion everyday, advent activities everyday, elf shenanigans…but I found that “creating” all of this Christmas “magic” made me grumpy and unkind and empty. No joy or peace in this race. You have the right idea about this sacred season. Thank you for giving my soul permission to let go of “manufacturing Christmas”. Of course our Jesus will make it special for us and our children (even in the absence of my overworkings). Thanks sweet girl.

  2. Amen to this. For the first year ever, I have been pretty still and it’s been PEACEFUL. My father in law built a manger for us and its’ rough shape has been a good reminder under our tree this season that the “filling up” can’t come from gingerbread houses and beautifully decorated wreaths, but from the love of Him alone.

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