of all that encompasses life. It had the adrenaline engagement of being raised in a parachute drop, the moment of suspended breath and whoooooom! down you go hoping all the cables hold as they have for the previous 14 times you watched others rise and plummet while you waited in line.
Honestly, I am still really trying to get my head around the phenom that is Christmas. At a cookie swap this year I attended, the topic was "Name a family tradition you had as a child or you practice with your family now". My tradition, both as a child and as an adult has been to do something different every year. Christmas multiple personalities disorder.
Christmas is a lot to me like Sunday mornings. Families getting up to worship the Lord, to fellowship with one another in peace and harmony and brotherly love.
And then everyone oversleeps and no one's clothes are ironed. Breakfast burns. Brotherly love disintegrates into a wrestling match on the kitchen floor which spills the OJ onto the last clean shirt Dad has. Mom not only is having a bad hair day but last week's hose now have a 3 inch run in them. Exhausted, each one piles into the car with murmurs, grumbles and veiled threats. But upon arrival, whoo boy, nothing but a chorus of "Good Mornings" and "God bless yous" pours out.
I am breaking open the stinky laundry of Christmas?
Families intensely together at an intensely busy time with intensely high expectations can well be, um, intense. It is the wax and wane of living together in relationship. After twenty years of marriage, of combining his with hers and theirs with ours and of being sanctified through hell and high water, I have come to know more of what to expect, more of what to graciously dismiss and more of what to laugh over than pick up an offense.
But it can still be a real parachute ride. Just make sure your chute is packed while you're waiting in line for your turn to ride.