It doesn’t have to be perfect

Published 11:59 pm Friday, December 26, 2008

As I made a mental list of the things that awaited my attention this week, such as wrapping gifts, baking pies, making the corn bread for dressing, thawing the turkey, picking up last minute items at the grocery store, signing and mailing the last Christmas cards, and finishing up my decorating, I wondered how I would ever finish by Christmas day.

Time just zooms by. It’s hard to believe that three weeks have passed since I flipped the calendar from November to the first day of December.

Even though there was a lot I wanted to accomplish to have everything just right for our family Christmas celebration, there has been no lack of the Christmas spirit in our house for several weeks. My husband purchased a unique music box that sits on the table in our foyer. It has a glass top that enables us to see a series of bells that strike out Christmas songs and old time classics. Underneath the bells is an animated scene of ice skaters on a pond with lighted Christmas trees in the background.

The music is delightful and we enjoy it every day as we go about our daily chores. Sometimes we pause long enough to stand and watch the little hammers strike the bells to make the music. Other times we lose ourselves among the ice skaters going round and round on the pond.

The songs caused me to reminisce about Christmases past in various places we have lived. I’ll never forget our first dachshund puppy picking its way through the snow that had fallen on Christmas Eve when we lived in Cookeville, Tenn. The whole family had gathered at the sliding glass doors with Christmas music playing in the background and watched as the snowflakes fell and settled in the yard that night.

Then there was the Christmas our two children and I spent on shipboard en route to Bamberg, Germany, to join my husband. Christmas music filled the air as parents took their children to greet Santa whom we were told had just flown in from the North Pole. He handed out giant Christmas stockings to each of the excited little ones. Other gifts from Santa that had been secretly packed away in our luggage awaited them when we returned to our cabin.

I have precious memories of the years when our son and daughter and their families all sat around our table enjoying our Christmas feasts. Although I pushed it back in my mind during those joyful hours, I knew that the time would come when some of them just couldn’t make it because of jobs and other reasons. In recent years, that is just what has happened.

Upon reflection, I realize that even if I missed a few of my goals, the important thing was to enjoy and be thankful during this blessed season of the year when those glorious songs of worship and happiness fill the air. I hope that you and yours enjoyed a Merry Christmas.