So here we are, just minutes away the from Day of Days, the one all children everywhere have been anticipating, the one Christians the world over have been awaiting, the day we’ve all been preparing for in some way, shape, or form, since Thanksgiving.
I’ve been writing about the holiday in somewhat generic terms and musing on memories of holiday’s in general rather than delve into the specifics of this holiday in particular. There’s a reason for that, which I’ll get to in a minute. But first, here’s what Christmas means to me.
At its heart, the celebrations which have evolved in the past 2010 years surrounding the birth of a Jewish baby in a manger stall in Bethlehem, are all about the amazing possibilities which can occur in the life of an ordinary person. Mary, the Blessed Mother, was just an ordinary young woman. Joseph, her husband, was only a humble carpenter. Neither one of them had any claim to fame in their society. Neither one of them was special in any way. Yet somehow they gave birth to a miracle child, who became known as Wonderful Counselor, Blessed Savior, the Son of God.
None of that could have happened without Mary and Joseph’s willingness to take a chance, to embrace the opportunity that came unto them, to journey into the unknown and welcome the possibilities that lay at the end of their journey.
Hence, the specifics of this holiday in particular for me.
Within the next week, my son and his wife will set out on a journey of their own, moving from their first home where they’ve lived all of their married life, into another state far away, into another way of life, and into embracing a new family of friends. It’s a wise move for them, an opportunity to expand not only their careers, but their social network as well. It’s a move filled with positives, a move filled with hope.
I’m nothing but happy for them ~ and proud, too, that they have the courage to take on another life change with all the unknowns and plunge ahead with such aplomb. Like Mary and Joseph they go forward into the future, following the star of their dreams, not knowing exactly where it will lead but holding faith in the hope of brighter and better things to come.
Of course, I’d be lying if I said I had no sad feelings – I’ve loved having the ability to fly here and see them regularly and easily, to have the double luxury of having a vacation home in the same neighborhood so we can combine seeing our kid with having a nice getaway in sunny Florida. Having them close by to look over the house and pick us up at the airport has been a blessing, one we’ll really miss if we end up keeping our house here much longer.
But I know that a life without change and growth is no life at all. And though I sometimes have to be dragged kicking and screaming into it, I believe change is the backbone of the thing I call hope.
The promise of something better to come.
That’s what I wish for my best beloved son, and for all of you on this Christmas Eve night.