12/31/2008

It's Over

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From Rocks in My Dryer:

"Mom," he asked, "is Christmas stressful?"

I looked at him quizzically.

"I mean," he continued, in a classic example of pre-adolescent understatement, "you've just seemed a little tense lately. Is Christmas stressful for you?"

I took a deep breath, a breath I should've taken about a month ago.

No, I told him. Christmas is not stressful. Christmas is holy. People are stressful. I am stressful. I take what is lovely and, whether by accident or design, I cover it with expectations and selfishness and over-committment and who knows what else. What is lovely gets lost.

Well, not really. It's never lost. Maybe my line of vision gets skewed. Maybe my hurried heart falters. But what is lovely and precious and staggering about this most holy time? It's still there. He is still there. In the manger. In the heavens. In my fickle heart.