Christmas Anyway


We decorate our trees with ornaments old and new. Store bought. Homemade. They remind us of good days, and days that weren’t so good at all. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas streams in the background. Memories swirl in the invisible. We’re joyful, for sure. But below the surface, there’s a longing, a yearning for more. More than this.

Christmas anyway. 


We hang our stockings by the chimney with care, in hopes Saint Nicholas will soon be there. We ponder over stuff used to fill. Maybe it’s too much. Or perhaps, not enough.

Christmas anyway. 


We place presents under the tree, sweatshirts adorned with AWESOME, tractors made from recycled goods, gift cards and chapter books. Our desire’s to show our affection, our devotion. We love because He first loved us. But we’re really not sure when enough’s enough. One? Two? Twenty? How many will it take for us to feel, to know we’ve done enough, said enough, given enough, helped enough? How long will it take for us to know we’re enough? As we are. Goods or no goods.

Christmas anyway. 


We adorn our houses with care. Snowmen, snowflakes and Santa Clauses. Candy canes, wreaths and lights up the wazoo. Our goal? To make it just so. We waffle like bobbling dolls and teeter totters. One day, life’s good. The next? It’s wrong. All wrong. Our hearts long for eternity, our instincts tell us there’s more than this. We decorate to acknowledge beauty’s waiting to be uncovered, even in the mundane, even in the most dreary and disgusting of days. Beauty matters. Even so. Even when.

Christmas anyway.


We debate the goodness of Christmas carols. One loves Emmanuel, the other claims to hate Noel. One friend has seven Christmases because of multiple divorces. And another’s at risk of landing in a shelter because they’ve fallen off the wagon…again. An old friend lost her mama this year, and let’s be real, somebody’s baby is starving tonight. We argue about going to this church or that one. We’re not really sure we have a church home anyway, but we get dressed up and go anyway.

Christmas anyway.


We prepare Pinterest-perfect peppermint mousse cups. They’re pretty. Good in theory. But horrific in reality. We taste one spoonful each and agree. Horrible. Terrible. They’re tossed in the garbage in a big ol’ bag. And two hours before guests set to arrive, we run to the store for dessert number two’s ingredients. A good old fashioned trifle from the recipe box suffices. Fine. Just fine.

Christmas anyway.


We set the table, take great care. Cooking, baking and scrubbing have consumed our days. We long for unity, community and love, unconditional. It’s grace that gathers us. There’s no other way. We pass the bowls, serve the kids, and seat granddad at the head of the table. We pray. There’s no other way. Today, we’re desperate for this gathering, this being together as one. Yes. When we finally sit, we know. We’re one body, many parts, all longing to play our part. This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Christmas anyway.


We wait. For Old Saint Nicholas. Soon he’ll be here. He’s gentle and loving, tenderhearted and giving. He wouldn’t harm a soul, the father figure we’ve all longed for. Whether we believe or don’t believe, we can’t help but love him anyway.

Christmas anyway.


He’s patient. He’s love. He’s divine. He’s come.

Jesus, yes Jesus.

Come. Come. Come, this day, oh Christmas Day.

He’s Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus, yes Jesus.

You’re just what we need.

A Counselor.

A Mighty God.

A Father.

A Prince of Peace.

Come, oh come, Emmanuel. God, be with us. This day.

Christmas anyway.







  1. Tara Dorn says:

    Finally was able to read this tonight. It resonates with me in so many ways, as your words often do. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Amy, surrounded by those you love. Merry Christmas!

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