Why would I wish you an Imperfect Christmas? The world seems to tell us we need to strive for perfection. We all laugh at the Griswolds and their over the top observance of Christmas. Too many lights, dinner gone wrong, annoying kin, obnoxious guests, Scrooge for a boss, and on and on. Poor old Clark was bound and determined to have the perfect Christmas, in spite of all the obstacles. He keeps getting knocked down, but he always bounced back to try again. You have to love his "can do" spirit!
Every ad on television, why even every post on social media seems to tell us Christmas needs to be perfect. Could I just tell you, based upon a lifetime of experience, perfection is in the eye of the beholder! Perfection is NOT a certain look, or the illusive goal of the appearance of having it all together. Perfection for me would be those I love near, a warm fire, my comfy clothes, good conversation, and a nice warm drink. It has nothing to do with perfect presentation, over the top gourmet meals, or even receiving the gift of my dreams (can't ever think what that might be). I have been in the presence of perfection while absolutely filthy --holding my breath looking at some majestic view. I have seen perfection over a bowl of chili at the table with all the family gathered round. I have seen perfection at the domino table with a good group of friends, laughing till water seemed to drip down my face. I have felt perfection in a deep one on one conversation with a life long friend. I have felt perfection as I watched the sun come up while walking the wonder dog in this wonderful neighborhood. I have felt perfection as I watched the sun dip below the horizon at the top of the hill taking that late afternoon walk, while the neighborhood children rushed around enjoying the last moments of a beautiful day. I have felt perfection while reading to a sweet 5 year old child at school, as they tucked under my arm. I have felt perfection when sitting alone and remembering a lifetime of blessings and joy. One certain rule I have learned--perfection has nothing to do with perfectly planned holidays, events, or happenings. Perfection --is not so elusive---it is all around us in the simplest of things.
That first Christmas, let me assure you, there was no perfection. Having a baby in a barn filled with dirt and smells is not anyone's idea of a perfect setting. First time parents realizing their baby is on His way and you are far from home is not anyone's idea of perfect timing. I can only imagine how exhausted Mary was after that 90 mile trip on the back of a donkey---HUGE with child. She finally births that baby and all she wants is to rest. Here come a group of shepherds---the bottom of the top career choices for the time---AND they were on the midnight shift. NO REST though, for they all want to see the baby. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?? All you ladies can certainly understand--right after birthing a baby--entertaining unknown strangers is NOT on the top of your to do list. Bright stars with blinding lights and Angels singing in the sky do not lend to a restful night. Top that off with a baby who probably wanted to eat every two hours and you have exhausted parents. It was NOT perfection--in the eyes of the world.
Yet, it was truly perfect, even with the look of total imperfection--it was perfect. God sent His son, the Star shown over Him to point the way, the Angels sang His lullaby and shepherds bowed down in awe and wonder. It could not have been any more perfect in the midst of the worldly imperfection.
So I am wishing you all a perfectly imperfect Christmas! May you know the presence of God and all His glory in the simple things all around you! God Bless Your Christmas--and may we all remember the truly perfect Gift we were all given that first Christmas!
And she gave birth to her firstborn son
and wrapped him in swaddling cloths
and laid him in a manger,
because there was no place for them in the inn.