Thursday, December 29, 2016

Another Perfectly Imperfect Christmas

On the piano is my cherished ceramic nativity set. It's the same style as the one my mom hand glazed many years ago, which was the same as the one her mother had. Colorful and shining, Joseph and Mary kneel in the stable next to a beautiful manger with a cherubic Christ-child, surrounded by quiet, clean, glazed animals.
Gazing at it, I slip into thinking the first Christmas was like that: perfect.
Perfect? To walk or ride 200 miles while nine months pregnant? To give birth in a stable?
Perfect? For the Son of God to sleep in an animal trough?
Yes, it was perfect. Perfectly imperfect. The King of Kings needed to descend below all things and take upon himself all our sufferings, so all of those seeming imperfections served higher, perfect purpose.
So you might say imperfection -- perfect imperfection -- is one of the most enduring Christmas traditions, predating even the gifts of the Wise Men.

What Made This Christmas Perfect?

Little Q using a sticky candy cane as a stylus on my phone
His joy and delight at seeing his Christmas Eve pajamas 
covered in construction vehicles
*  *  *  * 
The broad smiles and "Merry Christmas!" greetings when we went to church Christmas morning
That I had to spend most of the service wandering the halls 
because Little Q was too excited to sit quietly in the chapel
*  *  *  *
The joy of decorating gingerbread cookies together
The pile of dirty dishes that was still there Christmas morning
*  *  *  *
That the stockings didn't seem quite as full as last year
How beautiful the tree looked as we came down Christmas morning
*  *  *  *
That I missed the sale on what could have been the perfect gift
The joyful, unexpected, spontaneous hugs of appreciation the 
children gave each other after opening gifts


I don't plan on imperfection each December. Somehow or other, it always comes. Movies, books, and my Pinterest feed give me such unrealistic expectations for this most sacred of holidays. Each year is supposed to be perfect; the best Christmas ever. I think it is good to remember that one or two or ten moments of catastrophic imperfection doesn't wipe away all the peace, goodwill, and joy of this season. There is room for a little, or even a lot, of imperfection in the perfect Christmas.
Merry Christmas.

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