Christmases come and go and sometimes Iím not really sure what it is all about. Itís supposed to be about the coming of the savior to visit the peoples of earth, bringing glad tidings of joy, to spread the good news, set the captives free, release the prisoners from darkness and to proclaim the year of the Lordís favor. This year I think our family finally experienced a little more of a visitation than we have in Christmases past.
Often times when we get our family together itís like trying to cram a half dozen hyenas into a small kitchen. From a distance it may have sounded like a lot of laugher, but you didnít dare open the kitchen door! Somehow it seemed like someoneís short hairs were always standing on end. If you were the lowest one on the pecking order as a kid, you knew you either didít want to get stuck in the kitchen at the wrong time, or you wanted to make sure you always had one foot stuck in the door for a quick escape.
However this year was different. We had visitors bringing gifts from afar. Our son invited his girl friend from South Africa to our home for the holidays, and our daughter brought her boy friend home from Alaska.
Three guests from different parts of the world,
Two competitive adult children,
A five year old paranoid Mini-Schnauzer,
(recently rescued from a house with 35 play mates)
And two devoutly ensconced empty-nesters,
was not a partridge in a pear tree. It seemed like a sure fire recipe for disaster. Yet it wasnít.
I guess when you are cooking something up for dinner, if you throw enough spices into the mix, you sometimes get a surprisingly great dish! What appeared to be a storm brewing on the horizon turned out to be a wild adventure. Everyone just rolled with the waves and had a great time.
The atmosphere changed constantly: games going on in one room, a jigsaw puzzle going on in another room, three wise guys playing cribbage in a corner, and someone whipping up something to eat in the kitchen - as long as it wasnít me I was happy!
At times we stood outside under the stars like sheep in a pasture and sang like the Hellís Angels choir harmonizing to the Statler Brothers Christmas CD.
At other times we drew straws to see who got to ride with my son in his bucky little pickup, while the rest of us packed into the empty-nester SUV. We attended church services, First Night activities, movies, and Christmas parties of various genre relationships.
Mixed in were opportunities to for intimate conversations about the Lord and what he was doing in our lives. They were quiet personal times where we went for a walk or just relaxed and listened and let the conversation go wherever the spirit would take us.
To top it all off the Holy Spirit coaxed the boyfriend from Alaska into putting a skyrocket in the heart of the virgin daughter by proposing to her at midnight on New Yearís Eve. The proposal happened just in the nick of time. At 3 AM everyone headed to the airport to catch the next flight out. It was either that or stay behind to help the empty nesters clean out the manger.
All was well,
All was swell,
As the planes flew out of sight.
Filled with love,
Brought us peace on earth that night.
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