Wednesday, December 26, 2012

its not over - Christmas has just started!

DSC_0005NOTE: Did you miss our Christmas Newsletter? Click here for “A newsletter-ish post – 2012 in review.”
If you woke up this morning thinking that Christmas is over, then shame on you – think again! Today is actually, “The 2nd Day of Christmas,” and the idea of 12 Days of Christmas is much more than a fun song. Christmas is actually a season in the Christian Calendar; Christmas begins December 25, and then continues for 12 days through January 5. Then it’s Epiphany, January 6.
two of Naomi’s paintings
SO WHAT? If you’re throwing out the “so what?” question, that’s perfectly OK. I guess the point of this conversation is that I don’t want any of us to miss the beauty and the meaning of understanding that Christmas is nowhere near over once the final gift is unwrapped.
In fact, if you’re planning on taking the lights down and consigning the poor tree to either the attic or the side of the road, then please stop for a moment. Instead, give light the opportunity to permeate your being; let it all soak in; let the goodness and the promise and the hope and the peace take up residence, independent of all the wrapping paper and the glitz. Give Christmas a chance to take hold spiritually.
Rebekah with another "Naomi"
Rebekah with another “Naomi”
FUNFUNFUN: It may have been quiet at our house, with Andrew visiting in Midland, Michigan with Alicia’s family, and Naomi/Craig/David enjoying a Connecticut celebration, but my Mum and Dad came home with us after Christmas Eve services at First Brandon and our MaulHall Christmas morning proceeded according to time-honored tradition.
There were some exceptionally thoughtful gifts exchanged, far too many to feature in one post. But I’ll share a handful of photographs to illustrate the story.
Everyone received some original art by Naomi. Her work is strong and unique, and she pours her personality into her paintings. Personally, I believe it’s time for a web-site and an exhibition!
I’ll be featuring a couple of my gifts (an antique photograph by Wallace Nutting and a new tripod) in an upcoming post on photography, but today’s focus is simply the joy of giving and receiving.
DSC_0026BELIEF THAT CHANGES THINGS: Have you ever read a children’s book, or a Christmas story where something becomes true simply because the featured character believes with enough enthusiasm and conviction? If you have, then you will understand how Christmas works for our daughter, Naomi. Read on and I think you’ll get the idea.
This is my dad, he’s just about to open an exquisitely wrapped gift from his granddaughter. Naomi spends hours and hours carefully choosing and wrapping gifts, and then she insists that we enjoy opening them on Christmas Day rather than waiting for her visit in the New Year. She has demonstrated that it’s possible to actually mail joy and promise and love, because that’s exactly what is achieved when her boxes arrive.
DSC_0033Naomi believes in Christmas with such ferocious joy that anything she touches, and anyone she shares her gifts with, can’t help but believe too.
You can see just some of my pile from Naomi and Craig, and the painting I’m showing off is a grandson David finger-paint original. The joy is contagious and it is real.
DSC_0022MY POINT: So my point today, other than sharing a few fun photographs (you can see the entire collection on my facebook page) is that we’re just getting warmed up with this celebration of Christmas.
Christmas is not nearly or remotely over. As I said in yesterday’s post, Christmas actually brings us back to the “normal” that’s supposed to be our default setting.
Look at the joy in this photo of my mum opening her painting from Naomi! That’s what Christmas highlights, it draws attention to the pure joy of enjoying this gift of life, family, creativity, and love.
That’s why Jesus came, to make it possible for us to enter in to joy, hope, peace and love, with the certainty and the expectancy that only the Christ-child can bring - DEREK

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