Turkey Day is over and now the 2015 Christmas odyssey is underway. My personal pilgrimage began Sunday at 5 AM, as I prepared my wife’s medications for the week. There are fourteen different pills she takes at different times during the day for varied reasons and I do this every week. So, I pour a cup of coffee and spread the pill bottles in a row in front of my still-squinty eyes. I have a pill box with four rows of sevens so I can prepare meds for the entire week. The morning row gets five pills in each box, the noon row gets four, etc. When I am finished there are 112 pills sorted out for the week. I am proud of my system…most of the time.
I finish placing the the last pills in place and reach over to get the coffee. Ah yes, life is always an adventure. That’s right; I knocked over the coffee. As I did, I leaned onto the bottom of the pill box and it flipped, ever so gracefully, end over end into the air spraying its newly received contents everywhere. Okay–you get the picture. Pills on the floor, pills on the table floating in coffee (too bad they were not donuts) and me staring, mouth hung open, in disbelief.
Fortunately, God has blessed me with a self-deprecating sense of humor. I took a breath and began to laugh. Then I created some dialogue for the moment. I raised my hands, looked out across my random pill and coffee display, and announced to no one, “You are such an idiot!” Then I laughed some more and began Round Two of the weekly pill dissemination. That time I succeeded.
No matter, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love the ‘reason for the season’ which is the Baby Jesus. I love the awe in the faces of so many children and the extra smiles that come from the wonder and mystery surrounding Santa’s impending visit. I love the cookies and candy and cake and even some of the anxiety and pressure and insanity that mixes in as we move forward. I even love eggnog, fruitcake and pfeffernuesse. I am a hopeless Chrismatist.
More than anything, I love thinking about the Holy Family. Have you ever really thought about the Blessed Mother when she was a young girl about 14 or 15 years old? She was almost full-term in her pregnancy and was forced to travel on the back of a donkey for over 80 miles to fulfill the census law. We have to marvel at her husband, Joseph, who must have just loved her so much that he was willing to accept her Baby as his own. He led her and the unborn Child on this journey, protected them with his life and made sure that the Savior of all mankind lived to complete His mission. This was, after all, a very different time culturally. Mary’s alternative could have been death by stoning. Thank you, St. Joseph. Thank you, Mother Mary. Thank you, Jesus.
I will finish this up by telling you I made it to eight o’clock Mass with the wife at my side. What better way to continue the day, especially after the pill and coffee fiasco. Yes, the Season of Advent is upon us. I have no idea how the rest of this day or the days following will play out. No matter what, it will be OK. We are on our way to Christmas. For all of you willing to embrace the season, it is a beautiful, wondrous time for family, friends, love, joy and miracles.
In closing, as we continue on this unpredictable and happy odyssey into Christmas wonderment, I would like to wish you all a beautiful, blessed, healthy and joy-filled Christmas. (If I don’t electrocute myself putting up my Christmas lights you may hear from me again before Christmas arrives.)
“Celebrate the feast of Christmas every day, even every moment in the interior temple of your spirit, remaining like a baby in the bosom of the heavenly Father, where you will be reborn each moment in the Divine Word, Jesus Christ.”
St. Paul of the Cross (Catholicquotes.org)
©LarryPeterson 2015 Photo courtesy davidthig.org.uk