It will all be over in twenty four hours. The build up and planning and anticipating will be over and we can rest easy into another blessed Christmas morning. But before then, there will be lots and lots of work. A labor of love. Traditions and rituals to observe. We’ve decorated, shopped and watched all the Christmas movies. We’ve witnessed the build up of advent and the journey to Christ’s birth. It has been a particularly spiritual journey for me this year as I attended weekday mass on many occasions during the month, and isn’t that what the season is about.
It hasn’t been an easy month. I attended more wakes and funerals in December than all of the rest of the year combined. It’s as if God is building his last minute army of angels to complete whatever plan He has for us all. Most have left us far too soon and never came close to collecting the first of their long anticipated retirement checks that would still be a few years away. It hurts my heart to know all the people who will be struggling through this holiday season. God doesn’t tell us what His plan is, though. We just have to keep sending Him our prayers and keep the faith.
So I’m wide awake in the wee morning hours of Christmas Eve, assessing what’s ahead for the day. The food to be cooked, the final clean through of the house, the wrapping of gifts that took a backseat to a multitude of flu and stomach bugs that hit our household over the past couple of weeks. We have last minute cancellations from family unable to make our annual Christmas Eve party due to health struggles of their own, including my dad with who I was going to be spending my first Christmas Eve in many, many years. The show will go on. It always does.
In twenty four hours, the house won’t be this clean. The counters will likely be littered with wine glasses and chip crumbs and spills from food. Napkins crumpled and flatware strewn on the table top. Dishes soaking in the sink, waiting for the the dishwasher’s second (or third) shift. The candles will be melted to their wicks (if I remember to light them!) and the fridge will be loaded with all the food we didn’t consume. And for all this, we are blessed.