Christmas Eve 2018 has come and gone, same yearly event with differences, and it’s over very quickly.
I attended the Children’s Pageant at our old church to see other people’s children in familiar shepherd and angel costumes make the Tableau with Mary, Joseph and a doll in the manger. That little pageant defines Christmas for me more than any other part of the holiday.
Our family is made up of four now, instead of relatives who counted for more. My grown sons cook food instead of me, and I am so glad to share the job. I spent years alone in the kitchen controlling the traditional Christmas Eve meal to be English fare, prime rib with gravy and Yorkshire pudding, using family silverware. The timing of such fanfare to get food onto the table is sanctified with a heartfelt grace reciting of Scottish Robbie Burns, “Some have meat and and cannot eat, some can eat but have no meat. We have meat and we can eat, and may the Lord be thanked.” We have my Grandfather to thank for that grace.
The four of us share a euphoric meal, grateful to be together, and in no time it becomes another memory. Thankfully there was no out of control drinking this year, no insane arguing or drama this time around. How great for peaceful sharing with plum pudding for dessert.
Why the change? For one thing, my attitude plays a huge part in how things go differently. I finally understand the importance of taking personal responsibility for behaving kindly with respect to my own family members.
I didn’t consider my contribution to create chaos until I faced the way I handle comments from other people and learned that I don’t have to buy other people’s judgments of who I am. Gradually I am transforming, and it’s worth facing my stunted behavior and having courage to change what I can about who I want to become.
Christmas Eve is a Monday night, and tomorrow is Tuesday, another day with good will.