Ready or not

So here we are, Christmas Eve and no one is ready…

Well, that’s not fair- a few very organized people are good to go. These are the folks who never missed the bus and always remembered there was going to be a chemistry quiz at the end of the week. Even with our shining examples at the helm, collectively we still look a little messy.

And at this point here’s our choice in the matter: we can either spend the next 24 hours (or more) freaking out about not having that last gift on the list, worrying ourselves into nausea over what time or in what state aunt whoever is going to show up for dinner tomorrow, and taking personally every person who cuts us off in traffic on the way to the Christmas Eve service or we can be gentle, maybe even joyful.

I know how that sounds. I’m cringing a bit too. But I also know that we do have this choice. I know we can do this because on Christmas, and during this darker time of the year, despite everything we may see, there is room for holy things to happen. That open space that feels out of control? That is where stories like Christmas begin. We do not have to have an overnight Scrooge-to-Saint experience. We do not have to wake up tomorrow morning and be gratitude ninjas. But we can find at least one small way to be gentler with ourselves and others (and that includes the family member who grates on our more worn out nerve.)

So may we try not to fill all the pauses. May we leave a gift un-found. May we be gentle with ourselves in some tiny way in the quiet. And may we remember that love and peace can arrive whether we feel ready or not.

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.- Andy Rooney

Merry Christmas.

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