1.09.2015

A Grinchy Christmas

It's January 9!  Where has the year gone!?

Last time I turned round, it was December 24th, and I was at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL (three hours north of us) being evaluated for rheumatoid arthritis.  I was referred up there after some blood work came back high for RA.  My days have been up and down since, and Christmas didn't really happen around here in the usual way.  Expected family didn't come, because I wasn't home in time, and a few gifts were handed out over a week's time.

I didn't prepare a holiday meal, and we didn't have the whole family around for the 25th.  I made a cherry danish for Christmas morning breakfast, something I'd never done, and we watched Miracle on 34th Street, a movie I had never seen from start to finish. We had a meal with my parents in their assisted living facility, and called it a day.

Christmas came anyway. Without a fat turkey, pumpkin pie, or even a Christmas tree. It came without our "grab bag" activity, or trays of sugar cookie cut-outs I usually bake. We didn't even get to church, we were so exhausted from the trip up and back to Mayo.

But, you know what? Christmas came anyway.

Which made think about the first Christmas.  It had no glitz or sparkle either.  A frightened, unwed teenager spilled her blood onto hay and dirt in a cold stable with smelly animals nearby.  Her fiance, Joe, was probably just as terrified.  What did he know about birthing a baby?  And then royalty arrived with some valuable oils that brought healing and restoration to aliments and wounds. They were probably exactly what Mary needed for her cold, labor-weary body.

And that was it. The King had arrived. The angels sang as a divine child entered our filthy world. The world would never be the same. But, then...time to pack up and get back on the donkey for an arduous trip.

The greatest, and simplest, story every told.

As unusual as this Christmas was for us, I loved it.  With my injured foot and extra doc appointments, I didn't have the time or energy for all the regular preparations, and, in the end, it was liberating. I spent more time pondering the Christ child and his humble appearance on Earth than I ever have before.  Without all the hoop-la, Christmas still came.

"It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more." 


The Grinch got it right.

 

17 comments:

Mary P. Nettles said...

Box showed up!

Cathy said...

Yes, he certainly did! I hope all is okay with your health issues.

KaseyQ said...

Well said, Marianne. I read an article written by a lady who was spending her first Christmas as a single empty-nester, and she was feeling sorry for herself until she realized that, despite all the sentimental greetings and such, Christmas has nothing to do with family. Really, it has nothing to do with anything except the Savior. She realized that feeling sorry for herself was a lousy way to honor the birth of the Savior, because it was selfish. So she turned it around- she went ahead and put up her tree and turned on the Christmas carols and celebrated the birth of the Savior!

Sounds like you found a similar celebration this year. :-)

Mari said...

Our Christmas was unusual too, because of illness - but it still came!
I really liked this post!

Kenya G. Johnson @ KenyaGJohnson.com said...

Wow great post! Definitely a different perspective.

I have seen Miracle on 34th Street from beginning to end countless times, but never The Grinch - not even parts of it, so I was unfamiliar with that line.

Hope you are feeling better, and sorry you are still dealing with that foot. That was there first thing I thought was wow you have been gone awhile and you're still dealing with that foot!

Anywho - welcome back!

Retired Knitter said...

Our Christmas was not normal either. My mom passed away on the 28th. I spent the holiday at her side listening to her breathe. But Christmas came and went just the same for us as well. Life goes on regardless of the holiday.

SweetMarie said...

Sorry to hear about the RA. I was tested a few years ago and it came back negative. In my mid thirties I was told I had arthritis in my left shoulder. My mother's father had RA. I hope I never get it.

Happy 2015!

Deb said...

Hope you are doing better. I love this post!

Jen Forbes said...

Funny how keeping it simple can transform into special even memorable moments and occasions.

Be well Mare.

Brenda said...

I love how when life seems to take a different, unexpected twist, we can still bank on His faithfulness and peace to see us through.
Have a great weekend!

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Karen Jones Gowen said...

Our first Christmas in Guatemala was much the same. We had no tree or decorations or special meal. I read the Christmas story several times. I thought about how the words "manger" and "stable" and even "no room at the inn" have taken on a rather romantic glow through the centuries of reading and acting out. But what if it were to say He was born in an alleyway and laid in a cardboard box? That would be equivalent to our day and certainly takes the poetry out of it. I do love the poetry of the Christmas story in the Bible but it's good to remember the truly humble beginnings of the Savior of the world.

Rita said...

I've had those untraditional, peaceful Christmases for 15 years. The last nine with Miss Karma and I watching It's A Wonderful Life and a Christmas Story. Maybe that's why I love the holidays so much. I have lots of time to think about the true meaning and what I am grateful for. I think you've got it!! :) :)

Did you get the test results back on the RA?

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I am sorry your Christmas wasn't what you usually expect it to be but it comes around each year doesn't matter if we are up to it or not. Hopefully Christmas 2015 will be a better one for you and yours

Mary P. Nettles said...

This is the one I tried to comment on. Thanks for thinking of me. I will get it eventually!

Jerralea said...

I love how you put it! Christmas came anyway.

Sorry for the challenges you are going through. I'm sure God will be with you each step of the way making something good come out of it.

Sometimes, I think we'd all be better off without all the Christmas hoop-la.