The magic of Christmas is supposed to erase all that yucky stuff, right? I wish it was that simple. When I hear the song It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, I'm tempted to say "Bah humbug!" I'm weighed down with worries about things I cannot change.
However, as I was doing laundry (seems most of my bright ideas come when I'm doing something mundane), I realized that Christmas isn't perfect, nor has it ever been. Sure, I've been more joyful in years past. I've also been much sadder, like when my grandfather died on Christmas Eve, or the first Christmas after my mom died.
But, think about that first Christmas. Imagine being a very young woman, far from home, about to give birth to your first child. You don't have the luxury of a midwife or even your mother to help you. Heck, you don't even have a bed. All you have is a stable, a pile of hay, and your husband, who's not even the father of your baby. You're scared out of your mind because you've seen other young women die in childbirth, you've seen babies stillborn, and on top of all this, you've been told that YOUR child is special. Not just special, but the Messiah, the savior of the world. He's not being born to a queen or even to a prominent family. You are just the young wife of a poor carpenter, and you know he still harbors doubts. Imagine the pressure--if the baby had died or been a girl, you'd never be trusted again.
No, Jesus didn't come into the world on a perfect day. He wasn't born into a Norman Rockwell scene. He was born to a young couple who were poor and scared and didn't quite understand who he was going to be. They weren't singing carols or feeling the warmth of the holiday. For them, that first Christmas was a roller coaster of emotion that just happened to change the course of history.
Now, what was I worried about.....?
Merry Christmas, everyone, and may the new year hold new promises for you and yours!
To read my short story, "The Carpenter's Wife", and many other fabulous holiday-themed tales, pick up your copy of Christmas Lites! All proceeds go to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. **See sidebar for ordering info**