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moments and the depths of the Christmas story

by Shawni
art by my very talented friend Rose Datoc Dall

(This post is expanded from my Instagram post a couple days ago.)

I am reading such a good book (called Unscripted and I promise to come back to talk about it soon because there’s a lot I like about it). But for today I’ll just say there’s lots of talk in that book about “moments” and how beautiful they are when we stop to take them in.

“The thing is, in order to recognize the moments, you have to be present.”

That hit me. Because of course I know it.

But I needed the reminder like nobody’s business.

Then Lucy mentioned the other morning, “it doesn’t feel like Christmas when we are hurrying so fast.”

Yeah, do I need more reminders to forget the minutia than that?

I don’t think so.

So as I prepared dinner the other night and my girls happened to be close, I launched into a full-scale personal rendition of the story of the nativity (inspired by my sister Charity who did this with her kids). Do kids have to be little to sit mesmerized by specially dramatized story from their mother?

I was going to find out.

So I put on my most dramatic story-teller voice and made up details of how I thought that nativity story might have gone. How Mary must have felt, Joseph guiding that donkey, how that tiny baby must have looked snuggled up on His mothers shoulder.

Light in the stable.

And do you know what? My two teenage girls sat at the counter and listened. Still. Engaged. (It was a miracle that I even kept their interest, together, for more than two minutes).

The kitchen filled up with the beauty of that story:

The one that made Christmas.

And that’s when the magic started to seep in.

Oh, of course it faded as we marched off, homework, winter formal prep, Christmas card fiascos, life.

But I think part of that magic is lingering In the walls. On the ready for when we slow down enough to notice it again.

And again.

I believe we “find” Christmas in those moments we stop long enough to be present enough to notice those around us we love.

And to reflect on the One who loves us. The One who was born in that stable to save us, angels pealing jubilation from above. A mother and father in awe of the wondrous responsibility that came in the form of a tiny baby wrapped in a manger.

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