Yesterday was Christmas Day 2020. Today is the day I will abdicate my throne as the Queen of Christmas. I ponder such a thought each year after Santa visits because I am usually bone-tired, but this is different. Perhaps, it is not fatigue from cooking or cleaning, but rather a tiredness from a year when all things seem exhausting and good news is in short supply.
My lack of positive energy could be due in part to my two-year-old refrigerator. It broke three days before Christmas and will be on the fritz until January. Thank goodness we had the old workhorse fridge in the garage for extras. But, what a pain!
The same day the refrigerator broke, friends came to sing Christmas carols in the evening. When the doorbell rang, my daughter’s dog began to bark and headed for the door. When the big friendly pup tried to escape, I held him by his collar. Once he saw those smiling faces and heard the word, “Hark…” he bolted just enough to throw me off my small porch stoop and into the bushes where my head ran into a brick wall.
I am still here
The cracking sound of my head hitting bricks was so loud, the carolers heard it and assumed I was a goner. But alas, I am still here. Yes, I am battered and bruised in places I forgot existed, but to my amazement, I am back to picking up dog toys, cookie crumbs, and glitter after a day of ease. I guess Mama was right about me being hard-headed after all!
So, Christmas came and went, and I am ready to quickly pack it away for the first time in my life. Today, I started boxing my many decorations. Because I am the Queen of Christmas, I typically wait until the neighbors begin to complain about the reindeer still on the porch around Easter. However, this year, putting away Christmas early seemed the right thing to do.
This holiday season was not the same for most of us. As much as I tried to focus on the glory found in Christ’s birth, the day was still unusual and challenging. People everywhere are worried about income, food, and a killing virus. We live day to day, hoping that we will survive financially and our loved ones stay healthy. Most every day of 2020 tested our strength and faith. It is difficult to comprehend how many have lost so much in one year.
Time to pause
On top of a pandemic, we are bombarded with misinformation, scare tactics, and competing theories. In my opinion, the far right and far left need to take a sharp turn and travel toward the middle of the road. Neither of the far sides is leading us on the correct path to healing. Mostly they are just inciting anger and fueling distrust, which is extraordinarily sad.
After taking two ibuprofens for my achy head on Christmas day, I was alone in my bedroom applying makeup to cover those pesky dark circles and bruises. As I listened to Alexa play “Ave Maria,” I knew it was time to pause and talk to the Lord.
“God, I believe I am going to stop wearing my Queen of Christmas crown. The world has gone to the dogs, and the dogs are driving me into brick walls. I seem to have lost a little of my faith in humanity due to the viciousness of the vying political parties and people in general, including me. Folks are hungry, yet I pitched a royal fit over my food filled refrigerator that is on the fritz.
Many of my family members live in Nashville. They watched as bricks fell over their streets and fear gripped their Christmas day, while I worried about my brick cracked head. How silly and how selfish I am. Forgive me, Lord.”
Polishing the old crown
So, today, peace fell over me. As I packed away the fancy ornaments and labeled the boxes for 2021, I realized there is much to throw away from the year 2020. However, we must be careful not to box up love, kindness, and compassion. We need those to clearly hear with joy and elation, “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” when Christmas returns in 2021.
Hate, anger, bullying, and distrust drive our heads into brick walls, and we lose faith. And that we simply cannot do. If we do, then what was the point of Christmas? I feel the Lord is calling us to stand in the light of the angels, to heed the call to believe and forge onward with dignity, courage, and hope.
Today, I will put away the grief 2020 caused and polish my old crown. I will lay it in the lap of the newborn King where it belongs and where good news and peace always gloriously reigns.