Christmas reminds me of a sticky ball rolling down a hill, accumulating bits and pieces from everything it passes, until it’s one big adhesive mess and it’s hard to tell what the original ball looked like. We’ve gone from a simple explanation of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth to the huge holiday extravaganza we now experience. This is one holiday that needs to go on a diet.
Some of the traditions we associate with Christmas make sense—at least I can see the connection. Giving gifts is a reflection of the magi’s offering of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Advent calendars and wreaths help us focus on God’s purpose in sending His Son. Decorating with lights reminds us that Jesus is the Light of the world. And of course, there are Christmas carols (which may or may not be relevant or accurate).
We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to announce the arrival of our third granddaughter, Gwendolyn Elise. She was born this last Tuesday, March 25 to our younger daughter, her husband, and Gwen’s big sister Willow. As grandma, I’m totally stoked. Whoo hoo!!!!
Gwen’s arrival, besides being an occasion of great joy, was the culmination of months of waiting, praying, giving up, letting go and letting God—and being reminded that God does not disappoint.
Pete and I have spent much of the last week and a half in emergency rooms and hospitals. After years of gradual decline, my 91-year-old dad took a sudden nosedive. He’d been enjoying his new living arrangement, going to the hall parties, filling up on his favorite foods, smiling a lot. Then one day we went to see him and he was curled up on his bed refusing to get up. In spite of bed trays and persuasive nurses, he refused to eat or drink. Then he fell… and fell again, hitting his head.
While we’ve been anticipating this point for years, it was still a bit of a shock. Suddenly Pete and I were faced with huge decisions. Rather than create an advanced directive, where every possibility is considered and plans decided ahead of time, my dad had assigned the two of us joint “durable medical power of attorney.” The idea was that, knowing my dad and his end-of-life preferences, we would be able to flex according to the circumstances.