Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol revealed the second visitor to Scrooge was the Ghost of Christmas Present. He showed Ebenezer the current state of Christmas in his community, family, and around the world. A vision of abundance, proceeded by glimpses of the Christmas Spirit blessing others, especially the poor, you know the ones Scrooge scoffed the most. The scene of Bob Cratchit’s family and their love and celebration, despite the scarcity of abundance and the illness of Tiny Tim, gave the Ghost of Christmas Present a tool to influence the prejudices of Scrooge.
Although poor and meager, the joy and warmth shared within the Cratchit family was the essence of true Christmas celebration. Their meal filled with delicious nourishment, bought at an affordable price, and served with love and sincerity. The traditional pudding, piping hot, and savored by each member with high praises of gratitude. The toast by the fire to the day, to each other, and to Mr. Scrooge, despite his poor treatment of Bob Cratchit. The song “Silent Night, Holy Night” offered up to cap the toast. A blessed time, despite their circumstances.
Most of us focus on the doing, hosting, and traveling side of Christmas by orchestrating events that seem to blur the essence of the season – we get lost in the busyness. We aim to fulfill obligations, check the next thing off the list, and accomplish the monumental tasks we assign ourselves. Christmas can be filled to the brim like hot chocolate overflowing with marshmallows – the intention is to experience the deliciousness, but it spills everywhere making it messy and unenjoyable.
We must remind ourselves Christmas is in the Silent Night – it is found in the quiet and sublime, the reflective and forgiving. It is found in the enjoyment of the meal made with love, shared with love, and with those we love. It is found in the caring for others, not dwelling on things we do not have, the tribulations we face, or unrealistic expectations we set on ourselves. It is an intentional gratefulness that, despite our circumstances, we know our God is Present, His Gift is most important, and His Son is the Silent and Holy of the Night.
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
~Luke 2:13-14 NIV
Dealing with Loss – Merry Christmas?