Mrs. Disciple : When Christmas Isn’t The Way You Want It
The concept of “leave and cleave” sounds lovely when you stand at the altar with your husband-to-be beside you. But when it comes to the holidays, it isn’t so lovely. The question of where and how to spend Christmas can cause discord in the most harmonious of marriages.
My first Christmas as a Smith was dramatic. My husband’s job was as new as our marriage. He had to work on Christmas Eve, and we planned to head to my parents’ house once his shift ended. As I waited for him in our apartment, gifts wrapped and suitcases packed, I heard the tell-tale sound of sleet hitting the window. I turned on the TV in time to see the weatherman deliver the bad news: the roads would soon be impassable.
My husband made it home safely, but the road to my parents’ house closed because of the ice. We decided to stay in our tiny apartment with our Charlie Brown Christmas tree and try to travel in the morning when the roads cleared. I gave in to grief. I crawled under the table and began to cry. I thought I was missing Christmas.
My heart broke at the thought of my younger siblings opening gifts without me. My mouth watered as I imagined the Christmas dinner I would miss. I sat in a pool of tears and self-pity. I was a grown woman spending my first married Christmas hiding under a table.
Continue reading at The Glorious Table.
Mary’s first married Christmas didn’t go as planned. A census called her away from her mother and father right when she needed them most. As she lay on the dirt floor of a stable, I wonder if she had some of the same feelings of grief. Did she cry because she missed her family too?
Luke 2:19 sheds some light on the state of Mary’s heart that first Christmas: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” I don’t think Mary wanted to crawl under a table because of overwhelming disappointment. She collected the new memories like treasure—I imagine the way the straw pricked her skin, the softness of the swaddle, the salty tears dripping from Joseph’s beard. These memories became a new thing to celebrate.