Wind whips snow into a bone-chilling frenzy and as the driveway disappears into drifts it’s questionable if we’ll make it out to church for the Christmas Sunday service. I can’t imagine not being there. With rare exceptions we attend church every Sunday but somehow the Christmas Sunday service is an inseparable part of our holiday traditions. It is an appropriate beginning for the “holy week” leading to our celebration of Christ’s birth.
Christmas traditions are an enigma — they differ in every household. In ours secular mingle with sacred, a spinoff from the two very different family backgrounds from which my husband and I come.
Memories of other Christmasses are encapsulated within our celebrations. Our childhood ones tend to be romanticized; our adult ones are coloured with more reality. Two of my grandparents died in Decembers past, on the 11th and 20th of two successive years. Twelve years ago my husband had emergency heart bypass surgery on December 9th and one of our daughters died on the 17th that same year. An uncle died on December 1st, 2004. My stepmother died last year on Boxing Day. It would be easy to become melancholic as Christmas approaches, but we have many good memories, too. We treasure one idyllic Christmas spent with my parents at their remote Cariboo lakeside home, and innumerable others shared with our children and grandchildren in their homes or ours.
The thing is, Christmas is more than memories and traditions. It’s easy to get carried away with the trappings and forget the reason we celebrate.
But if the snow keeps us home from church the countdown to December 25th will still happen for us. Our decades-old crèche will capture our attention as it does every time we pass it and we will recall the well-known story:
“I bring you good news of great joy for all people:
to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Sunday evening addendum:
The snow didn’t accumulate all that much more. It let up temporarily and we made it to church and home again, no problem. My DH spent the afternoon snowblowing the driveway as the snowfall gently resumed.
One thought on “Winter arrives on Christmas Sunday”
I hope your daughter and my sons have a chance to meet. In fact, maybe they’re the reason we met.
The mercury in our outside thermometer has sank to the bottom. It won’t even register the temperature. That’s cold. The lake’s frozen. It’s still dark out, but by mid-morning my neighbour will be out ice-fishing. Crazy guy.
I’m staying inside. Today my husband and I will put up the tree and bring out all our cherished Christmas decorations. We don’t have a church close by any longer, but Jesus will be in my thoughts and nearby just like every other day.
Tomorrow, we’ll go into town and pick up my husband’s 91-year-old mother. Jody passed away Christmas ’06. Consequently last Christmas is a still a blur. This Christmas feels like a new beginning. A blessing.
Merry Christmas, Careann. And God Bless.