I'm sitting in my living room on Christmas morning. It's almost 6am. Santa has come and my whole household is asleep except for me. I went to bed at 10:30 so I'm not still up from last night dealing with tiny screwdrivers and AAA batteries. I'm awake in the stillness, in the tension of great household anticipation because the quiet calls to me. Drawn out of bed around 4:30 for no other reason than I just want to soak up the magic. It was funny when I pulled up my browser to write because I was processing the value and existence magic in my last post. My feeling was that because there is so much darkness in the world, magic can no longer be truly pure, but lived alongside the dark and though that's more real, it's kinda sad too. And yet why am I awake? I want to soak up the magic.
I'm drinking the instant Peruvian coffee my incredible brother-in-law Sol brought to share. It's sweetened with the homemade (allergen-free!) caramel one of my best friends made me for Christmas. The tree is lit. I can hear the clock ticking behind me, the morn of Christmas just waiting to dawn. It's glorious. This tension. This wonder. The thrill of waiting to see my children experience the magic I was grieving the loss of just a few weeks ago. Maybe that's why parents cling so hard to giving their children magic. It's a way to revisit childhood and carry forward the beauty of a perfect day.
I love anticipation. I always have. I love surprises. I love waiting (remind me of this next time I'm driving). There's something so beautiful about the tension in creates, like the giving of the gift is more savored when anticipated. Maybe I'm turned off by things that are cheap. If it's worthy, it can wait until the proper time. When something is rushed, it feels squandered, like some sort of distraction from the true value and meaning of things worth waiting for, working for. Maybe this is just my purity culture baggage talking.
I remember a house full of people on Christmas Eve growing up. My parents house is currently full to the brim. But I got to have them here for Thanksgiving so this holiday is about my little family and my sister-in-laws. It's so sweet and simple and fun. Three little girls are currently dreaming of toys and candy canes and the thrill of not knowing but hoping for something wonderful to happen. Maybe that's what's so appealing about this holiday. Hope. I'm obsessed with it (maybe this is a truly appropriate time to say "thanks Obama.") As a child, nothing comes close to the gift haul of the year and time holed up with your extended family. You hope; you wish; you dream. And I know this is speaking from a position of privilege because I have no memories of being disappointed on Christmas and that is a very special gift I was given as a child. But as we grow older, experience Advent and the beauty of counting down, waiting and wonder, that hope becomes something more. Hope in the relief that the birth of Jesus brought. Not in that moment, necessarily. There was so much chaos surrounding Jesus' life from fleeing Egypt all the way to his eventual death. But on a global scale, for all time, this baby brings eternal peace. And I believe not only that He died for all but that all were saved. I don't believe in eternal teams. I believe in peace. Restoration. Grace. I believe all things will be made new, put right, tied up in the end. And because of that, I can look at my little glass baby Jesus figure while I wait for little racing footsteps and truly say THANKS BE TO GOD.