Agile fingers tore through bright red paper to reveal Crayola’s biggest Art Kit.
“Oh!” Brown eyes widened with a tentative excitement. “I forgot I wanted this!”
Lizzie caught her daughter’s furtive glance under the tree. Was she searching for the one present Santa couldn’t afford?
Slowly she put the phone down.
“The kids aren’t going to make it. David has the flu.”
Jake studied his wife’s teary face. “Oh honey, I’m sorry. How disappointing.”
“Have you heard from any of your brothers? Are we getting together this year?”
Mouth turned downward, Keith turned to his wife.
“I don’t think so. Now that Mom’s gone, it seems no one wants to bother.”
It comes around every 365 days.
We spend weeks preparing for it.
The food. The decorations. The. Perfect. Gift.
Expectations bloom so high our voices squeak like helium.
And then it happens—the less-than-perfect.
And your smile goes flatter than Wile E. Coyote under the Steamroller.
At this point, I remind myself to be thankful for all that I have–my loved ones, the roof over my head, more food in the cupboard than some Third World grocers–and still find a hole in my heart.
I look at what so many have done to contribute to my life, to my family, to my special day–and still find an emptiness.
But finally I remember the baby in the manger and all that His birth accomplished in my life–and my smile returns.
For we know The One who never fails.
The One who never disappoints.
The One who celebrates You.
And that perfect peace reigns once more in this place.
This place in our hearts we return to time and again.
This place where we pursue Him, and find that He pursues us.
His Place. His Time. His Day.
And our less-than-perfect becomes what we wanted all along...
A celebration of The One who IS perfect.
It’s never too late to find your Merry Christmas.
Images courtesy of Theeradech Sanin, Stuart Miles, and graur razvan ionut at FreeDigitalPhotos.net