Silent Night, Holy Night…All is Calm, All is Bright.

Christmas is officially over. It’s a touch of bittersweet. The planning, the anticipation, the shopping, the wrapping, the cleaning, the decorating, the wrapping, the grocery shopping, the baking, the wrapping, the cooking, the mailing, the wrapping…the unwrapping, the eating, the unwrapping, the cooking, the unwrapping, cleaning the dishes, the unwrapping, the eating (AGAIN?!), and more unwrapping, the sleeping….

Christmas 2011 has come and gone. Much like a wedding. Soooo much preparation, and it was over so quickly, to be remembered in the photo documentation and the added pounds on the scale.

As I sit here in the wee hours of the morning all is calm, and yes, all is bright. Everyone is asleep, including the little snoring Pomeranian by my side. From where I sit the tree still twinkles, reminding me that Christmas is not quite over until the last decorations are packed safely away. Yanni is playing softly in the background, and bits of paper, ribbon, and bows are scattered around piles of new-found treasure (the one night of the year when I don’t let out the cry to “pick up your things.”) The stockings have been re-hung by the chimney with care, remembering that St. Nicholas had once been there.

It was a good day, no, it was a wonderful day. Enjoying the smiles from my eight and twelve year old boys to that of my 51 year old husband, to that of my 78 year old father-in-law, all enjoying each others’ new toys. As much fun as it was to surprise them all with items longed for and now treasured, I am reminded of what a treasure that first Christmas held.

As a mother of two sons, it isn’t a stretch for me to think of how Mary must have felt in the wee hours after she gave birth to the son who is now the reason we celebrate Christmas. Just like me this year, I know she put in months of preparation for the big day. Nine months to be exact. She endured long lines as she and Joseph traveled. She must have been exhausted carrying her load. What a heavy burden she had, as THE Mother for eternity, with a job so big that no-one else could do it yet everyone in THE Family would be depending on her. I wonder if she looked around before her guests (the wisemen, shepherds)arrived and thought of what a mess her surroundings were in that stable. Yet after giving birth to THE Ultimate Gift, I’m sure Mary sat back in those wee hours the next morn, thinking to herself, “Yes, all is now calm, right with the world, and ever so bright!” Mission accomplished. And Mary, from one mother to another, well done you good and faithful servant! I only hope to be as faithful as you were with your Christmas preparation.