December 24, 2008

"one night a year" -- barbara mandrell

christmas eve ... isn't it the most magical, wonderful day of the year? i honestly don't care much about the actual christmas day. the anticipation, the excitement, the love and joy for everyone who passes by - that's what christmas is all about. and that's what we see and feel the whole month of december. so if that's what christmas time means, can someone please tell me why we can't keep a piece of christmas in our hearts all year long? why must we pack up our holiday spirit along with all the decorations after the season is over? why, just a few short hours after christmas is over, do we see the greed, want, and selfishness of december twenty-sixth? why is christmas eve just one night a year? or why don't we at least love and act like it's christmas eve more than one night a year?

my mom hates mother's day, a big part of thanksgiving, and most of christmas. you may be wondering, "but why?!" i finally understand. she hates the expectation she feels on these occasions. i've helped her see that some of these expectations are self-imposed. that still doesn't take away the pressure she feels, though. especially with the economy we're dealing with right now, there's little money to spend on frivolous things we don't need - yet mom feels that we, her adult children, are expecting a magical christmas that comes with the help of santa claus and lots of gifts, wrapping paper, and bows. because of this stress mom feels, i can see clearly why her feelings about christmas are not extremely positive. however, the phrase "if mama ain't happy, nobody is happy!" is very true for our family. as paul's last christmas with us for the next couple of years, he simply wanted a peaceful, happy family. i have been bound and determined to give my favorite guy that gift.

after calming mom down, we made a list of the things that really needed to be done and what we could cut out. right after christmas, mom is in-charge of a family party, a family luncheon (two different days), a 'friend goodbye party' for paul, and buying/packing/shipping-off for the mtc. just a little stressful, right? well, as i think more about my mom's feelings, i think the real problem was that she felt she was expressing her love to everyone around her, but she wasn't being shown any in return.

tonight we share christmas eve with sundy, tyler, and all his family. at least for one night we won't be fighting over which family gets more time with our sweet married couple. for one night, we'll all feel the comfort, joy, and peace of family and God's love for us. one night. i guess if it's just one night a year, i'd better get on living it instead of writing about it! love you all, and merry christmas!