“Roasted marshmallows anyone?”
Christmas 2009 – The Ups and Downs of It
Well, as with life in general, Christmas 2009 has brought some unexpected surprises — some more welcomed than others. As people of faith, we watch with delight as our blessings rise to the top, even among the splatterings of disappointment that have come despite best-laid plans and preparations.
I’m borrowing an idea from a friend to share a few of the highs and lows:
Fortunately, we got our white Christmas this year.
Unfortunately, blizzard and snow-storm warnings kept us from being with extended family.
Fortunately, once we realized we weren’t going to be going out of town after all, there were still a few delivery spots left at cashwisedelivers.com, our favorite online grocery-deliver service.
Unfortunately, after we placed the order, we realized the delivery time frame would conflict with the Christmas Eve Mass we were hoping to attend.
Fortunately, Cashwise was kind enough to fit us into an earlier time slot and our Christmas groceries arrived in time to leave for the 4 p.m. Mass.
Unfortunately, even though we arrived plenty early, we had to sit in overflow seating, which put us just a few feet from the church door and parking lot.
Fortunately, there were enough seats left for us.
Unfortunately, a few of us ended up standing anyway after giving up our seats to some elderly folks.
Fortunately, the elderly folks had a place to sit.
Unfortunately, we felt a little misplaced, and it was hard to hear some of the service.
Fortunately, we celebrated the birth of our Savior despite imperfect conditions, and, in the end, were able to appreciate that our church is bursting at the seams with those wanting to get to know Jesus better, rather than being stark and empty.
Unfortunately, we weren’t quite prepared for an early Christmas meal.
Fortunately, we found a Chinese restaurant open on Christmas Eve.
Unfortunately, we had a huge chocolate-milk spill toward the end of the meal.
Fortunately, our tummies were full, the managers were sweet about the spill, and I didn’t have to go home and cook on Christmas Eve.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t set aside thoughts on the death of my friend’s father, a person who will be greatly missed.
Fortunately, I was asked to be part of the funeral music and look forward to the sendoff that will reunite him with his dear daughter and other loved ones.
Unfortunately, death is a part of life.
Fortunately, life always triumphs in the end.
Unfortunately, the weather has remained foreboding.
Fortunately, I received a warm, fuzzy robe and slippers from my youngest daughter and husband.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough carrots for all of Santa’s reindeer.
Fortunately, there were enough cookies, Santa came anyway, and Christmas magic permeated our morning together.
Unfortunately, a few of the toys didn’t work.
Fortunately, I prepared a pancake and sausage breakfast and everyone was appreciative.
Unfortunately, we’re still missing our family and the lost chance to be with them this day.
Fortunately, we’ve rescheduled a “Christmas re-do” for New Year’s weekend.
Unfortunately, we have a wait a whole week.
Fortunately, we have something to look forward to.
Unfortunately, not everyone in the world realizes what Christmas is really about.
Fortunately, we do, and this realization has kept our spirits filled with anticipation of God’s plans for us as we head toward a new year.
Blessings to all this holy Christmas! May you find the things that matter most all around you, sparkling and vibrant, warm and enduring: love, family and the joy of life in spiritual abundance. And if you’ve been blessed in this way, may you find new ways to bring that abundance to others in the coming year.