My Darling Boys,
It is Christmas Eve today. Tomorrow morning, the four of us will sit down in the living room to watch you open your gifts and attempt to capture the joy and magic of Christmas morning.
But before we do that, I wanted to tell you something important.
This is not going to be a great Christmas, sweethearts.
If your Mommy wasn’t so organized, and hadn’t bought gifts throughout the year, you wouldn’t have any gifts at all. We’re not so poor we can’t afford food or electricity (yet) but we are, now, poor enough that we cannot afford gifts.
You missed out on so many things that make December a magical month in my mind. Decorating the tree, decorating the house, watching certain Christmas movies over and over again, baking cookies and treats, making fudge, hanging our many Christmas cards we have been given…well, darlings, the whole family was sick for pretty much the whole month of December, and without help, those things just…didn’t get done.
Your Daddy and I did drain our energy reserves making sure that there was – at least – a Christmas tree erected in the living room, but that was the extent of our decorating this year.
We frankly didn’t have the energy to fight you, Mr. Charm, over watching “Baby Einstein” versus “It’s A Wonderful Life”, so there were no Christmas movies this year.
My brain has been so fuzzy and my eyes so watery the last two weeks, I honestly haven’t even been capable of reading our Christmas cards. Precious as they are to me, they’re in a nice stack in the kitchen for me to read when I physically can. Which means they didn’t get hung in pride of place.
If I hadn’t been sick as a dog, and tending to two little boys who were also sick off and on throughout the month, I would have made a concerted effort to whip up some dairy/egg/fructose-free yummies for our Christmas goodies to enjoy this year. But the sad truth is that this month found me often stretched beyond my limit just providing regular meals for all of us; treats were one of the first things to be thrown out in the interest of “survival” this year.
I’m sad that this Christmas is not going to be fantabulous for you boys. I’m grateful that you’re both still so young that ANYTHING probably strikes you as glorious and awesome.
But I promise you, I will do everything in my power to make the rest of your Christmas’ in this house as wonderful as I possibly can.
However, for as poor as we are this year, for as sick as we’ve been, for as meager a Christmas as we’re providing for you, I’m having to remember something vitally important: none of those things matters.
I love all the trappings, don’t get me wrong! And I think they do make the whole month a magical experience in a lot of ways.
But the truth is, Christmas is not, never has been, and never will be about twinkle lights, Christmas trees, fudge, and cards.
Christmas is about Jesus, and the beautiful gifts and promises of God.
You see, my sweet boys, Jesus was God’s ONLY son. He sent Jesus to Earth to live as a man, be crucified for our sins, and redeem us so that we may someday sit with God in Heaven.
As the mother of sons, I cannot possibly imagine sacrificing either one of you for any cause, no matter how noble or just. So the magnitude of this gift from God is even more overwhelming and incomprehensible than ever, for me.
Christmas is the time of year we celebrate the birth of Jesus. You are both so little, still, that I clearly remember your births. Such small, scrawny, helpless little babes…but so absolutely, completely FULL of promise and hope. Every single thing in the world is open to you boys. You can do anything!
Jesus was THE promise and THE hope of life everlasting. When he was born, Mary, his mother, surely looked at him the way I looked at you when you were born. This scrawny, small, helpless, crying, messy baby just plunged his way into the world and straight into her heart. As you did mine.
Mary had none of the trappings of Christmas when she gave birth to her son in a barn; she didn’t even have the possibility of taking a shower after the birth! But she, Joseph, and their precious new Son were all that was necessary to feel the love of God, the gift of hope, and the limitless possibilities of new life.
So tomorrow morning, when we sit down together, I hope we all can remember that no matter how ‘successful’ any of us think our Christmas is, whether we have rich years or poor years in the future, whether we never receive another Christmas gift or eat another Christmas cookie in our lives, THAT, my dear sons, doesn’t matter.
What matters is that we are together, four people given to each other by the grace of God, to walk this Earth together, to celebrate and comfort and love one another, and that we have all been given the most precious gift of all: God’s precious son, Jesus Christ.
YOU are MY precious sons, darlings.
Merry Christmas with all the Love in my heart,