‘Tis two nights before Christmas.
Tomorrow will be gift-wrapping, and letter-mailing, and cookie-and-bread-and-pie baking, and Christmas-Eve-Service-ing. And then Advent Wreath, when we will light the final and white candle, the Christ candle that signifies He is born. The last couple of Christmas Eves, my mom and I haven’t managed to finish wrapping presents until after the clock’s hands turn to midnight, and before turning to bed I’ve stepped out into the cold darkness—not quite frosty, but as close as we get here in southern California—to look at the stars sparkling so bright in the blackness above. And shivered with a thrill, thinking of the starry sky over Bethlehem so long ago. Maybe we’ll get to bed a bit earlier this year—but if not, I don’t entirely mind.
I’d meant to write a lot more new posts this Christmastide. But between the craziness of an impending move and the usual season bustle, I’ve been grateful to mostly just repost the “Toward Bethlehems” from last year, though I still anticipate adding new installments in the days following Christmas. I hope those of you who read the series last year haven’t minded too much! For me, reading them again has been another reminder to remember…to turn my mind and heart to that little family two thousand years ago, to His coming, in so much humility and ordinariness, yet so much wonder and miracle.
Tonight, sitting in the living room, after a long drive back from visiting family, and pressing little circle stickers to hold Christmas letters closed, I am grateful for a little time to be quiet before the breathless bustle of tomorrow. For the many-twinkled tree, the fire in the fireplace, the cross-stitched Nativity beside me, the carols on the CD player.