“… And the Grinch put a hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low.
Then it started to grow…
But this– the sound wasn’t sad.
Why, this sound sounded glad!

 Every Who down in Who-ville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling:

How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes, or bags!

And he puzzled and puzzed, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.’”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We know the movie so well. It is one of my favorites.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas! This year it could certainly describe the Fish house. Grumble, grumble. …

It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes, or bags!

Oh, how can this be? I love to put up the tree; make goodies and cookies; put up lights and sparkly decorations. I love a tree filled beneath with mounds of presents. (And yes, I have to be sure the monetary and the number of presents for each equals fairy.) I love candles burning adding a subtle yummy aroma all around. I love watching everyone open their gifts. So what happened this year?

I realize some maybe concerned because of our loss three years ago. No need to be alarmed. If truth be told, two weeks ago I was pretty bummed about it. But I just had to come to grips with reality. What reality you may ask? The one that has my whole house in an upheaval – a total mess! My remodeling project! Why in the world did I think I could have this done by Christmas was beyond me. Plus, Christmas for our family was moved up a few days because of a family vacation. So not only was it not progressing as I would have liked, I lost four days. I mean really, how could I have a pretty looking house with all these boxes and containers and dust anyway? I am already feeling claustrophobic without the added tree!

So what did this mom and grandma do? I, once again, had to take my thoughts and disappointments captive and to Jesus. I cried a few tears, took some deep breaths and decided Christmas didn’t have to be at my house. Or be quite the ideal picture I had in my head for this year with my newly remodeled kitchen. I kind of threw in the towel on the remodeling for a bit. And I decided not to decorate – at all.

I started enjoying and singing along to Christmas music. I focused on the true meaning of the holiday. Christ came as a helpless baby, into a cold, cruel world to turn around and die for those who believe on Him. This gives such a clear picture of God thinking higher and much wiser than we can ever completely understand.

Oh, I still bought presents – which didn’t get wrapped until the last-minute, so it felts like there weren’t any ribbons and bows. I didn’t make my usual various kinds of cookies and snacks, but I did uncover my stove and counter-tops, found some seasonings and made some yummy appetizers. While I won’t get to enjoy the soft glow of a lit tree in the dark room, I will still enjoy the company of my husband and others, and their trees.

Christmas is going to come whether I am ready or not. And I think it is good to have a time to make us stop and reflect on His birth and why he came. But truly, shouldn’t Christmas be here every day throughout the year? Shouldn’t we be enjoying family and friends and representing Christ all the time? Trust me; I know it is hard some days. I know there are bad days. I know there are people and moments I don’t want to guard my tongue, let alone my actions. I know there are days which seem unbearable. I also know with Christ it is possible. Plus, I want to continually be the best ambassador for Christ that I can be every single day.

“Maybe Christmas,’ he thought, ‘doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.”

So, with true joy of the season (and the ongoing pangs of heartache from loss) I am enjoying Christmastime. Christmas early with our children and grandchildren, Christmas late with other relatives, and Christmas Day with some others who don’t have anyone to celebrate with. It will be a blessed time – if I stay focused on what is important. It doesn’t come from a store and it is definitely means so much more!

(Enjoy a picture from years ago) 102_2645

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