On being grateful, no matter what the holidays bring.
Well, it is Christmas Eve and the local police and fire department just left my driveway.
We are all safe and sound. The soup pan that had been boiling away on the stove while we were all locked out of the house is resting comfortably out in the snow. My house did not burn down (although it’s rather stinky), despite my seemingly best efforts.
Thank You God.
So here is the chain of events: We came home from a lovely Christmas Eve service and the boys asked to stop over at the neighbors’ house, where a party was underway. I went home, where some leftover soup from dinner was sitting on the stove. I thought, “That looks good. Why don’t I just finish it off?”
I turned on the stove.
My younger son called to say he was coming home. It is dark and cold outside, so I said I would meet him at the end of the neighbors’ driveway. I put on my coat and headed outside. In the split second it took the door to swing shut behind me, I thought, “I don’t have my keys.”
And so the adventure began. Racking my brain to think where there might be a key outside my house. Turns out it was miles away, in the hands of my former nanny. Who is a fireman himself, but in another town and currently on duty, unable to abandon his post.
Waiting for crazy women in his jurisdiction to lock themselves out of their houses with something burning on the stove.
Fortunately, our own best and bravest arrived in time to break into my house before any permanent damage was done.
Thank you, police and firemen.
My younger son was by my side the entire time. He has just told me that he was praying through the whole experience and that is why everything turned out so well.
My older son was at the neighbors’ playing video games. He just said, “Thank you Mom, for this fun Christmas Eve.” I hope he means the party.
We all agree that it has been a Christmas Eve to remember.
For me, the highlight came before the soup fiasco. Our Christmas Eve service was truly beautiful. We are blessed with a large, active faith community that includes an extremely talented music ministry. The church was packed and exquisitely decorated. Traditional Christmas carols filled the air.
I am so happy and grateful, to be able to share my faith with my children.
As the priest read, “The beginning of the gospel according to Matthew,” the congregation grew silent. We all listened to the Christmas story with rapt attention and I was struck anew with the absolute joy of the season. This was what I’d been waiting for.
It might have begun as a humble birth in a stable over two thousand years ago, but the blessings of Christmas are available to all of us today. And so, wherever you are tonight, I wish you a happy, holy and peaceful holiday season.
P.S. Don’t worry, I will be going out first thing Saturday morning to get some extra keys made. If you live within a five mile radius of my house, you can expect to receive one.
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