It’s Christmastime and that means your mama is filling up our house with all the things. Allllll the evergreen, quotable, shiny, sparkly, merry things. There’s this website called Pinterest and it’s really popular right now. It’s a virtual pin board for practically everything you could ever want/need/envy and it’s kind of dangerous. It can suck you in. I fall into it, quite on purpose, nearly every holiday, especially this one. It’s just so fun! It has all the ideas, all the crafts, all the stuff. It’s beautiful. But it’s not reality, so your mama is trying to learn how to be careful. It’s easy to get trapped and think the whole world looks like a Pinterest photo when, in reality, a huge pile of laundry is usually hidden back behind the camera. Nothing, and no one, is perfect, Lucy Jane. Don’t forget that.
But it’s our imperfections that often make for the best stories. The happiest memories. The funniest jokes. I have quite a few about your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, and your cousins that I would love to share with you one day. Imperfection is really quite lovely if you think about it. Seriously. How boring would the world be if we never had to grow, or learn, or say we’re sorry? Sometimes the sweetest moments come after the most bitter arguments. Should we always try our best to be kind, to love the way Jesus loved? Of course. But we aren’t Jesus. That’s the whole point of Jesus. He took care of our messes so we could stop thinking that we had to be perfect all the time. He makes us perfect so we can be free and live. Love. Serve. Imperfections and all.
Which brings me back to my original point: It’s CHRISTMAS. Hell yeah, Christmas. It’s the best ever.
Your first Christmas came just one short month after you were born. I was still in that “Oh no, who thought it was a good idea to give me a baby?” phase and, so, the holiday was a little tougher than I liked to admit. Thank sweet baby Jesus that you were (and still are) such a sweet kid because my hormones and emotions were wreaking havoc on me. Your dad and I didn’t have the energy to go out and purchase a real tree again, so we put up our trusty, old fake one. And she did her job well. She was pre-lit so all we had to do was pop you in your rocker, fluff some branches, and hang the ornaments. You stared at the lights like they were boobies and it was feeding time. And on Christmas Eve, I was determined to initiate you into the It’s a Wonderful Life Fan Club, so the three of us snuggled up together on the couch together and proceeded to watch the greatest Christmas movie ever made.
But sometime around eleven thirty, I woke up and realized we had missed the last half hour, the very best part. The classic, ugly cry-inducing portion where George Bailey realizes his life has value and Clarence gets his wings. I was so upset. How could I have failed at motherhood so quickly? Your daddy tried to console me, but it was fruitless. We turned off the tree and went to bed and I fell asleep feeling like, somehow, I had just lowered the standard for every Christmas to come.
But here we are again, one year later, and everything is a bit brighter, a bit jollier than normal. Just like every December. The world still has lots of terrible things going on, some of which have hit very close to your mama’s heart, but one thing has not changed. And that is Christmas. When your life gets hard, as it most certainly will sometimes, you will always have Christmas. It might not be December when you fail that test or when you lose someone you love or when you say something you shouldn’t…but Christ is constant. He is Emmanuel, God With Us. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He is all the grace you need when you lose your patience or make a mistake. He is love and life and joy. He is laundry piles behind cameras and candid laughter caught on film. He is everything that is good.