Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Thoughts

We are gearing up for Christmas here, and I'm enjoying it. I actually love Christmas. Right at the point where most people are feeling kind of over it, exhausted from the shopping and sick of the family thing, I start to tune into the whole thing, humming carols, preparing the food, and thinking about the year.

My old friend Pat, the single mother I mentioned below, is coming with her baby to stay with us for a few weeks. She is really struggling and desperately needs some company and support. She says it all feels like a living hell and like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, so she is coming to us. It's going to be tough, as she is very depressed and we will be quite overcrowded. I was half dreading it, but now that the time approaches, I find I'm starting to look forward to it.

I like the idea of having a baby in the house at Christmas. After all, if it's not about a baby, then what is Christmas really for?

One of my commenters below noted that Pat's experience just shows that some women should not have children, especially with fertility treatment. I kind of know what he/she means, but I don't feel that way. I find that I am thinking a lot about Jesus' mother Mary this Christmas. We Protestants don't make much of Mary. But I am thinking about the courage she showed in having a child in those circumstances, such a huge commitment of love and faith, in the face of suspicion and disapproval.

Some of us just don't get to have our children in the circumstances we would have chosen. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't have done it, or that God won't bring good out of the situation.

Long time readers will know that I was quite depressed myself last year. This time last year, I was in a very dark place. And yet, I have recovered. At some deep level, much of it only half consciously, I seem to have healed. I am truly grateful for all that God has done for me.

Our church has a theme for Christmas this year: "Giving birth to hope". Mary did give birth to hope, with God's help. And Pat and I gave birth to hope, with a little help from God and from science.

And I am still hopeful. I hope that Pat, with some company and help with the baby and a bit of fun, as well as professional help, will start to find a way forward. That somehow my own healing can be a part of God's healing for her.


Blogger Sailor said...

What a thoughtful, and generous thing to do, to bring her into your lives at this time; and her baby, of course.

I am so glad you are able to do that for your friend, and what a good friend you are, to choose to do it!

Merry Christmas!

3:36 PM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Well, God bless you, Em; being depressed at Christmastime is awful. Glad you've got to a better place.

Since being Catholic, I find I'm in the same place relative to 'the Christmas season' as you describe - having come thru Advent, now I'm getting my head into Christmas, just as everybody else is ready to be done with it. (sigh)

And, even as a Catholic, I've never really gotten too deeply into the whole 'Marian' thing. But a few years ago, it occurred to me that Christmas is really the 'Marian' feast par excellence - where her 'yes' to God, without really knowing what-all it would really entail, really has its meaning. Who knows what God would have done if she hadn't said 'yes', but how much richer, and how much better off are we all because she did. . .

7:40 AM  
Blogger aphron said...

Hadn't gotten over here in a while, so I'm a little behind.

Christmas (at least here in the US) has grown to huge proportions. It seems our whole economy is determined by how much Christmas shopping goes on here. It becomes a little overwhelming. I tend to have a "Bah, humbug!" mentality until a day or two before.

As for Pat, I'm sorry for her situation. Hopefully, surrounding herself with those that love her will be the difference.

Merry Christmas.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous C-Marie said...

What a wonderful friend you are... 'Tis what the Holidays should always be about.


8:28 AM  

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