What swirls at Christmas time?
The Christmas carols sing of snow, smells of cinnamon and cocoa. Laughter and memories build like snowdrifts, enveloping the house in a snug blanket of joy. Red and green are everywhere, candy striped holiday colors.
But this is the desert. In our house we have children who have experienced trauma. The memories that swirl may not have words, or even accessible memories attached. It is more like bumping into furniture in a dark house.
The grownups carry their own stories around Christmas too. My father-in-law died at Christmas, on our four month anniversary. Those muted colors have permeated each Christmas since, with swirls of grey instead of the traditional red and green. I asked Jesus once why Christmas Eve was so hard, and was gifted with a childhood story of violence. Not your traditional gift, to be sure; but precious nonetheless. A memory that is given is now mine to hold, with kindness and compassion. No more furniture in the dark…
So what does it look like to gift my family with curiosity at Christmas? Not about the gifts under the tree, but about these other colors swirling in and around. Is there a place for kindness “in the middle of”? How do you show up in this way? I would love to hear your thoughts….
Right now, everybody is having a half hour of alone space. I am hoping there is a “reset” button! But perhaps not. Maybe the reset is to live present, today, at Christmastime. Red and green and grey, maybe with a sparkle of silver.