In the December Delirium, Receive the Joy


Last year my first daughter, Debbie, gave birth to her first daughter, Grace, on December 23.  It was such a happy occasion!  Grace, as grace always does, brought much joy.

But her anticipated arrival played havoc with my very full month of December.  As we awaited her advent, we found it challenging to schedule life.

So I said to my daughter, Michelle, “If you are hoping for a second child, please don’t have a baby in December.”

And to my son, Josh, when he got engaged, I said, “Please don’t get married in December.”

I am a mom of questionable influence.  Michelle is having a baby December 10.  Josh is getting married December 13.

I just returned from a week of key ministry global meetings in Greece—in time to give a welcome greeting to our International Headquarters annual Christmas party, Light Up Lake Hart.  That is the first of seven parties we host, three of which will be at our home.I tried to get all of my Christmas shopping done before I left for Greece—and I’m about 80% there.  The house is mostly decorated—the tree is beautiful as always, the stockings line our staircase, but my two dozen nativities still need to be carefully placed.

In light of a baby and a wedding, couldn’t I have cut out some parties, cut down on gifts, cut myself some slack?  Of course.

But I love celebrating the season with family and friends.I’m not really a party girl, but it is delightful to see friends, neighbors, co-workers, to enjoy good food, familiar music and delightful conversation in the festive beauty of lights and greenery and candles.  I receive such joy.

For a person with a giving gift, it is almost impossible for me to pass by this giving season.  Choosing the right gifts for each person makes me almost giddy.  I receive such joy.Being with family is bliss.  We have our Texas traditional tamales (waiting in my freezer, from Texas) and chili for an early celebration with our Orlando family.  Then on to time with the Texas family (where I will probably make our traditional Swedish pancakes to honor my husband’s heritage).  And finally to Colorado to meet our new grandson and enjoy another festive time.  I will receive such joy.

Of course, the greatest celebration is honoring the birth of our Savior.  At every gathering we will lift Him, remember why we celebrate, say “thank you” for the indescribable gift of salvation, peace, hope.  And joy.

What about you?  What brings you joy at Christmas?

C2014 Judy Douglass