Gifts in the Chaos
I love Advent. I love the waiting in expectation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus. This year it was our turn to host Christmas dinner. The preparations went well but I felt distracted; too much fussing about too many things. Even though we would be having fourteen people sleeping over, our guests arrived on different days allowing us some special time alone with each family. After Christmas Eve Mass we had our usual traditional activities.
Christmas morning arrived in chaos – a flood in the kitchen from a broken fridge freezer, a dishwasher that decided not to work, two sick grandchildren, a “lost” gift and Christmas dinner for twenty-one people. Tension and crankiness crept into our home.
Yes, we survived. The ice maker in the fridge got unclogged, the dishwasher kicked in, the “lost” gift was found two days later and there was lots of care for the sick little ones.
As I looked back on past Christmas days, I believe God has been speaking to me loud and clear. “Stay focused on me.” One year the electricity went out; however the preparations were complete and we ate by candlelight. The gift was – family light in the darkness.
Another year our hot water tank broke and we spent most of the day appreciating the gift of hot water that we take for granted.
Many years ago my husband ended up in hospital trying to “keep up” while playing with our children. The gift was humble acceptance of limitations.
So what gifts do I see in this Christmas chaos?
As a family we decided to review some of our traditions. Our family is growing and ageing. Yes, traditions are part of who we are but it is time to reflect on those that we keep, those we readjust and those we let go of.
Try and stay focused on God while living in the chaos of distractions and unplanned events and believe God walks with us on our own sacred journey.