Sunday, December 25, 2011

Our inn is open, I hope He saw the candle.

Another Christmas morning has come and gone.  This time, I've lost the Baby Jesus.  I can say with all honesty that I feel very badly about this. 

Over the years, in addition to having Chinese food for our holiday eve dinner, another family tradition has been to replace the Christ Child in our family manger scene with a candle and hide him until Christmas morning.  When the boys were little, before any gifts could be opened, Baby Jesus needed to be found and then we'd sing Happy Birthday and place Him in His rightful place. 

This morning, no mention has been made of our tradition.  I don't believe anyone has noticed other than myself.  The irony here is that it seems somehow befitting of this year's holiday.  For the first time in seventeen years, I have not felt the joy of the season.

Shopping for the boys' gifts was a last minute chore.  I could barely find the energy to walk through the aisles.  In fact, I could care less.  The truth is, the kids have been extremely difficult this year.  Their behaviors have escalated to the point whereas for the first time in their lives with us, I didn't want to purchase them anything.  There was no happiness in the giving, just a sour feeling in my stomach that their expectations where too high and that they were truly undeserving.

I didn't feel like baking.  No annual pumpkin bread smells came wafting from my oven.  The gingerbread men were not made and assembled for the tree.  I didn't even place the holiday music in the CD player.  Eric and I found ourselves wrapping the few gifts we purchased for the boys just a couple of nights ago.  Everything rang hollow this year.  There was no happiness in our projects.

The only peace I felt was lighting the Christmas Eve candle. 

We live on top of a hill facing north towards Wyoming.  There is nothing for a hundred miles blocking the view from our guest room window.  Every year, Eric and I light a single, solitary candle to light His way and keep it lit throughout the night.  Jesus is welcome in our home.  There is always room in our inn.  There may be screaming and crying, cursing and general mayhem, but He is always welcome.

So perhaps, I lost the Baby Jesus for the manger on our mantle, but I'm hoping that last night, with the warm, bright light of our candle shining against the snow covered Colorado northern front range,  He found His way into our home.  That as of today, tomorrow, and 2012 - the Colorado Potts' Family will find the peace we've been so desperately looking for.

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