We have joined the ranks of those whose Christmas does not look like the ones in the TV commercials and magazine pages. Watching the news and the weather reports and messages on Facebook makes me know ours could be worse, but this year is surely not the Christmas we were expecting.
Then I started thinking about that very first Christmas. The authentic Christmas. And I'm beginning to think maybe that's what we are having this year—an authentic Christmas. And that maybe an authentic Christmas is more important than the regular merry one.
That first Christmas involved a long journey, a baby, worried parents, angels, shepherds, wisemen and unexpected circumstances. Our Christmas has all of those elements, too.
Our Baby Girl has been very sick and is spending her first Christmas in the hospital in the midwest. Of course, Mommy is there with her. We have certainly all worried.
Our long journey was driving out halfway to get the big girls and bringing back them here. All of the other family lives near us. Now their daddy is driving about a million miles (well, 1000 miles feels like a million) to be here a couple of days, to make sure Santa knows these girls are here at the farm.
But we've had Christmas angels, too. Number one is Aunt Jessica who has made sure her sister's gifts that were shipped here were all properly sorted out and wrapped. And more importantly, when Little Sister looked up at her and said, "We need to bake cookies for Santa," she took over and made those special cookies with both sisters. (Loved it when Little Sister looked down at the floor and squealed, "It looks like SNOW!")
There have been angels in the midwest, too. Angels who have brought gifts to the hospital for the baby. Angels who are taking Christmas dinner to mommy tomorrow. And there are so many other praying angels that we have leaned on.
The wiseman? That's Daddy-O, who looked at me hard when I was ready to jump on a plane and fly out there. He told me, "You are right where you need to be. Right here with 4-year-old Little Sister, keeping her settled and calm during all this." Of course, he is right, although my heart is out there with them. Big Sister also qualifies as a wiseman (wise woman?) as she has helped keep things on keel here and has rocked along without complaint as things have changed rapidly and has been so good with her little sister who doesn't quite understand what's going on.
What about the shepherd? We don't have sheep on the farm, but we do have cows who need to eat in the winter. The cousin down the road stepped in and took care of feeding them while we were on the road. Watching over the animals in the field—that's close enough.
Yes, this has not been the Christmas we planned. Just like that very first one was not the trip Mary and Joseph planned. But we will celebrate. Differently than we thought, but we will still find joy. The excitement in this four-year-old's eyes is still there. She has missed her mommy, but Mimi and Aunt Jessica are managing okay. We are not "Mommy" but we are passable substitutes.
Baby Girl is getting better. And we will be happy to see her after Christmas. One day, years from now, we will tell her about this unusual Christmas.
The Grandmother Gig will be taking a little break to focus on the matters at hand. There are lots of grandmother things that need doing right now. I'll see you back here in the new year. Merry Christmas from all of us here on the farm!
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
~from Luke 2