I hope you had a good Christmas Day. Ours has been very quiet. All three of us are in some stage of cold symptoms. I slept in much later than originally planned but we were able to have Christmas dinner by mid-afternoon. The cook (that being me) laid down for a short nap after dinner and ended up sleeping for three hours. Blame the cold medicine. :)
Thanks to the generosity of others, we had our traditional Christmas dinner. I love the menu of ham, creamy cheese potatoes, broccoli casserole, Birds Eye peas and baby onions, and pumpkin pie. I can assemble the potatoes and casserole as the ham cooks, pop them in the oven when the ham is "resting", and make certain all the dishes are washed and in the drainer before placing food on the dining table. I have used this menu so many times, there are few surprises... except the time my Pyrex dish blew up in the oven when adding water...
We watched Kung Fu Panda in the early evening and then found Casablanca on TV (my favorite movie). After that... tea and a good book.
Perhaps the actual Day was not too festive but given all the sneezing and coughing going on in our household, it was just "what the doctor ordered". I was thinking this morning about the previous post I wrote and how Christmas Day arrives regardless of circumstances (in this case, three sick people).
It reminded me of the title given a spaghetti western starring Clint Eastwood (years ago) called The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. We can experience all three at Christmas.
There is a lot of good during this season, which for me begins with anticipation as the world becomes an autumnal glorious place with the reds and golds surrounding my home and the gentle breezes turn cooler each week. I so enjoy the sights and smells of autumn which flow into Thanksgiving's pumpkins and turkeys, cinnamon and sage.
After that the world becomes a place of glitter and sparkle, colored lights and scented candles. There is good food and fellowship for many and the excitement of whispered secrets among all the paper and ribbons.
There is also the "bad" that can come each year. Nothing terrible mind you but those little annoyances one wishes didn't happen during the Holiday season... like my cold that doesn't want to go away, or the worst weather in December that I can remember in years (and years). It can be missing someone terribly but knowing they are alive and well... just far away (in this country or stationed in the military elsewhere).
Sometimes the bad can come from strained relationships and words spoken during our celebrations. No matter how we try to get along in this season of Peace... tension can follow... especially in families and large groups of people.
Then there is the "ugly"... what I think of as the "snake in the garden"... that heart wrenching trial we live with all year. Most of the time all is beautiful but one is aware there is the presence of the snake which may unexpectedly appear. For some it is the presence of substance abuse, others the desertion of a spouse or parent, still others look at the empty place at the table which can never be filled again this side of Eternity.
I know of those who must continue through chemo at this Season, not knowing what the results will be. For some it is living with one who suffers emotional or mental illness. For they can go through the Holidays just fine or... without warning... have a flare up.
There are many, many people this year with job losses and not knowing what the future brings. One thing I do know, God supplies our needs... honest... and even a few wants here and there. :)
I recently purchased another creche at Goodwill for just a few dollars. It is actually quite a nice creche but it was cheap because it was missing one piece... the baby Jesus. I will be on the lookout for a Babe throughout the year.
However, it made me think of Christmas past and present. How much like the celebrations held in many cities today... everything else is there about the Season but the Babe is missing. I have the creche all set up on a table where my old one used to sit. It is there without the Baby Jesus, reminding me not to let Him go missing in my own life.
Never fear the bad... or the ugly... that comes with the Season. For that is the very "stuff" that we can turn over to Him Who Created Us to make into something special. Only He can take the bad and the ugly in life and present it back to us as gold refined.
Picture: Christmas Peace on Earth by Billy Jacobs; allposters.com