Pretty soon Allen and I will scrunched up in economy class trying to catch a couple hours of sleep as we count down the miles to Christmas at home. Finally, mercifully, it's all starting to come together. The box of gifts has been sent off -possibly too late for the family gathering on Saturday but in plenty of time for Christmas, but that's not a total disaster since I've got a few more goodies tucked into my suitcase. The living room is lived in clean, by which I mean there's a plate here and some strayed kitchen towels there. Again, nothing disastrous. Similar could be said for most of the apartment with the exception of the back bedroom which has been the staging area for numerous Christmas intrigues and looks the worse for it.
For Advent we have eaten steak and pumpkin pie and homemade soup and leftover turkey sandwiches with lovely wines to smooth out the edges. I've decorated my tree, strung lights, lit candles, and decorated gingerbread cookies. All this and it's still a week before Christmas. It's easy for me to think about the lovely things I'd love to do for Christmas -more handcrafting for instance - and lose sight of the things I have done. A year ago I couldn't have imagined that I would celebrate the holidays with such a relatively low amount of stress. Life, breathing, is coming easier to me. Some of that has unfolded in the Christmas decorations around me and the presents wrapped and under the tree waiting for Epiphany when Allen and I, returned again to this new land, will finish the Christmas season together with all the abundance that overflowed our boxes and suitcases. I've done pretty well for a girl who started the year with as much overwhelming guilt and unredeemed pain as I did. And now I'm sitting here counting down the hours until a friend from church picks us up and takes us to the airport so we can go home for Christmas. It's been an amazing journey.
To everyone else out there seeking beauty, grace, and rest -Merry Christmas.