Merry & Bright

Well, friends, my presents are wrapped, the Rat Pack is crooning, and whatever I may have forgotten for our Christmas Eve dinner is just going to have to stay forgotten, because there is no way I am going back out into all that commercial foolishness—whether or not a certain lake of f. has frozen over.


Am home for the holidays, thank you very much.

Made a last scurry to the library this morning to stock up on mysteries for our vacation week, and have the rest of the day to prepare for the loveliness that is both Christmas and our mid-winter break.

We celebrated with the Johnson side of the family last weekend, complete with dinner and presents with the extended and breakfast and presents with the immediate.

Bella and Sophia were especially thrilled by a little plastic doll hairbrush and happily brushed everyone’s hair. Hard to believe they’re getting so big. Carl and I started dating about a month before the girls were born—the first time I met Phil and Cindy was at the hospital when the girls were only days old. Good memories.

Whenever a new season starts, I usually write down a wish list of all the fun things I’d like to do. Just checked my holiday wish list, and the only things left are a tour of the lights on Hines Drive (local drive with beautiful light displays), a cocoa and game night, and a getaway trip to Frankenmuth.

Last night we knocked off a holiday movie night from the list by trotting off to spend the evening with some of my favorite people (yay favorite people) and watch Christmas classics over mint chip brownies and Chinese. Fantastic to have people in your life who are there for you whether you’re experiencing a merry Christmas or more of a merry “effing” Christmas, as one of said friends expressed it. Sometimes the two kinds get all mixed up together, and that’s ok too.

The important thing isn’t really whether or not you can manufacture a certain feeling of joy or cheeriness during a four week marathon, right? Sometimes life isn’t joyful or cheery, and that’s ok. Although it gets misquoted a lot, I like the verse in Romans that actually validates the hollowness of denying where we are. Instead, Paul reminds us to be “joyful in hope, [and] patient in affliction.” The simple truth is Christmas can be a painful time of year. Whether you’ve lost a loved one or have a difficult family situation or maybe struggle with fertility issues and feel the urge to punch every plastic Mary right in the beatific eye.

It happens.

Bad things don’t stop happening just because it’s Christmas.

But, the good news is: neither does love. Though it might not be the kind of love or the timing of love or the image of love we want, it’s still there. Life is funny that way—half heartbreaking and half so beautiful it makes you giddy. I don’t know. I don’t think we ever figure that part out.

I guess we just roll with it.

Celebrating the good. Loving one another. Believing and looking forward.


2 thoughts on “Merry & Bright

  1. I heard a couple sirens when I was outside today for various reasons. It always makes me think when I hear sirens on days that are “supposed” to be so perfect. People are still getting sick, calling the police, still suffering. I don’t think we ever truly escape it in this life. I’ve been thinking lately about how Christmas is tons and tons of preparation and anticipation, but then it’s over amazingly quickly, and that one day of family time and presents and food can’t really fulfill us anywhere near as much as you might think from all the hype surrounding it. It can’t take our hurts away. It can’t make us perpetually happy for a full month. It can’t make all our dreams come true. Only God can do those things at any time of the year. We hear a lot about “keeping Christ in Christmas.” I think it’s even more important to “keep Christ at Christmas.” He’s the only consolation we have in a broken world, not some big seasonal party (as lovely as it can be).

  2. LOVE this post – for SO many reasons (I’m sure you already know most of them – and I can fill you in on the rest later, if you’d like). =) SO glad we could help you cross something off your holiday to-do list. =) And, for the record, you and Carl are two of our most “favorite people,” too. =) Love you, friend!

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