This may not be your story, but there are many out there, adults who have such painful memories of Christmas Past that they have nothing to do with the holiday. One year they will paint a bookcase if the weather is right. Or do a thorough housecleaning just so they are busy on Christmas day. Or a movie. No elegant dinner with family for them.
This year we are gathering a few of them here for Christmas dinner. We decided that instead of bracing ourselves for a onslaught of memories of drunken parties, beatings from dad, a last minute divorce or death in the family, an only child with few friends and a family far away, we are going to start on our new collection of memories. We may be old now, but it is not our fault that Jesus’ Birth is contaminated by people in our past who had little or no regard for the King of Kings.
One woman left high school without getting her diploma to escape a man who had a fight when ever he was home – any day of the year. One man lost his family of four children when his wife disappeared with them over 15 years ago. A third buried her daughter 20 years ago of a drug overdose; now her granddaughter is on meth somewhere. Who knows where, and pregnant again.
We could make this a Pity Party with glasses of Whine. But not this year. We jacked up the fireplace because there is snow still on the ground, everyone is bringing a special dish, – sliced ham, horseradish-cranberry sauce, and a special orange marmalade dip for the diabetic, creamed spinach with a hash browned potato casserole, English cucumbers in sour cream, mayo and sweetened apple cider vinegar and a giant rum cake. There will be little gifts for everyone and carols playing on the computer’s online radio. We’ll have a quart of cocoa.
We’ll talk about how wonderful next year is going to be. No point in bringing up the past. Because as you know, God is all about the future. He told us to be preparing for the Kingdom of God. This life is brief. And one day we will all look back and thank God he helped us shake off the works of darkness that haunted our lives.
We will make a new Christmas with new people.