Other than post-holiday chores, I look around and see that everything is the same. There is laundry to be done, the grocery list is on the fridge, the bills are waiting to be paid ... and I wonder how this Christmas has changed my life as a wife and mother. I think about the Blessed Mother and how her life was never the same after she had said yes to God. And then I see how I've said no so many times these past two years.
Perhaps the emptiness I had been feeling throughout the season despite a full schedule with family and friends was borne out of not having enough room for another baby - the Child whom I used to look forward to with much anticipation. Now that I have my own children, it is easy to get lost focusing on their needs. Especially on occasions that call for gift-giving and merriment.
Yet, last night, I think I caught a glimpse of the Christmas I had been longing for. We were on our way home when my daughter asked for the bag of goodies we leave in the car for streetkids who knock on our window at stoplights. She had seen one but he had walked past our car towards the sidewalk. So my husband waved at him to come over and she was able to hand him a small bag with crackers and candy. Her eyes glowed and she smiled with satisfaction saying
"I really had been wanting to do that, mom." My eyes started to mist, and my heart felt warm. It was the Feast of the Three Kings, and the boy looked like he had just been given gold.
Howard Thurman said it so well...
When the song of the angels is stilled
When the star in the sky is gone
When the kings and princes are home
When the shepherds are back with the flocks
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost
to heal those broken in spirit
to feed the hungry
to release the oppressed
to rebuild the nations
to bring peace among all peoples
to make a little music with the heart...
And to radiate the Light of Christ everyday in every way
in all that we do and in all that we say
then the work of Christmas truly begins.
I look around once more. My ordinary life stares at me. I smile at it. I know that this year, I can make it extraordinary.