Scary stories from a lovely place
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The children were all nestled snug in their beds
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
Our presents are arranged. Our desert is baked. Our toys are away and our carpet is vacuumed.
I’m reflecting on my childhood memories of Christmas. The smell of pine needles and the glint of special decorations. The desperation to peek at presents. The seafood and fruit. The beach and the sun. Watching Christmas movies like Home Alone and Die Hard.
I’m thinking of my own children. Their special tree decorations. The way I will arrange their presents and decorate our lounge room with chocolate money and candy canes.
We’re listening to old Irish folk music and I know Stephen is thinking of his family and his childhood. I’m thinking of his nieces and nephews who are so far away that we can’t have the pleasure of opening presents with them and watching our kids play with their Irish cousins. I’m thinking of long lost friends in South Africa – Trev, Lerato, Lelethu and Cameron, Vicky, Levy, Stan and Lesley, Helen and Nat, Nkululeko and Dineo, and Ellie in England and Brigitte in Rwanda.
I’m thinking of those for whom this holiday sucks – parents in Pakistan and Nigeria, those grieving lost loved ones in Sydney and America and everywhere else, those suffering under the oppression of hunger and mandatory detention. And I’m thinking of these verses that I read yesterday in the bible;
Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!
Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant.
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near. (Isaiah 55v1-6).
I’m so relieved that Jesus humbled himself and was born a poor baby to unwed, refugee parents, grew up under the instruction of his Father and set to work restoring the broken relationship between God and his people. I’m so glad he will come again to put all wrongs to right again.