It’s Christmas morning 2016, and I’m up early. Not because there are children clambering to open presents, but because I received the gift of a sinus infection and my head couldn’t take being horizontal any longer.
Actually, the days of clambering and chaos on Christmas morning are gone for my wife and me. We are now moving into the quiet Christmas years.
This is the first Christmas in which our adult children will be staying at their own homes with their kids for Christmas. I applaud that decision. I really do! It’s the same decision their mother and I made when they were little. There is something about making memories with your kids in your own home that can’t be replaced.
But even though it’s a good decision for them, it’s a bit of an adjustment for us. Don’t get me wrong, our kids live relatively close and we will still make the rounds in the afternoon. We will still see kids and grandkids and all the loot Santa brought them, but this morning as I type this post, it’s quiet.
It’s the type of quiet that will either drag you into Elvis’ blue Christmas or prompt you to reflect like the Grinch when he had a change of heart. I choose to reflect.
Though a lot of things about this Christmas have changed, the blessings still outweigh the losses.
Back in my bedroom, my wife is buried in a rumble of covers. She’s not a morning person, so she will sleep late and not be that chipper when she gets up. But no matter how things change around us, she and I will greet this Christmas day and walk through it together like we’ve done everyday for over 36 years. For that, I’m grateful.
I have children and grandchildren who don’t have to be under my roof to be a blessing to me. Oh, they have their own struggles, and they’re trying to find their own directions with their families, but they have a quirky kind of love and outlook that makes me smile…even when they’re not here. They’re amazing.
At 57 years old, I’m relatively healthy. I was able to get up on my own and dress and feed myself. I don’t go to the gym and I don’t eat as well as I should, but I walk three to four miles a day and don’t have to call the EMTs. There are others much younger than me who are confined to a hospital room this Christmas. My heart and my prayers go out to them.
And when I look around this quiet home, I see how much I have been blessed. I did not wake up under a bridge or in Aleppo, but rather in a warm and comfortable bed. My refrigerator is full of food and dispenses water from the door whenever I’m thirsty, while many in the world will go without food and clean water. And then there’s the two cars in the garage, flat screens on the walls, iPads on the table, smart phone in the pocket…yeah, I have a lot to be melancholy about.
And if none of the above were true, it would still be a good Christmas, because the circumstances of the season doesn’t change the reason for the season. On the first Christmas night, God decisively stepped down into the dark and troubled lives of people to bring them hope…in spite of their circumstances. That will never change.
So even though my house may be empty and quiet, this is still a good Christmas!
Whether your house is filled with chaos or quiet, may you see the blessings in front of you and the Giver of those blessings above you. Merry Christmas!
Copyright © 2016 Bret Legg
6 thoughts on “A Quiet Christmas”
we just enjoyed our first quiet one and it was quite fabulous! Don’t get me wrong, we love our family but were able to enjoy no expectations from anyone. MerryChristmas Bret and Libby.
We began and ended the day in quiet, with the joy and chaos of kids in the middle. It reminded me of when we were newly weds and enjoyed our own Christmas together before getting with family. Doing the math, we have had almost as many ‘quiet’ Christmases as we have had of the rowdier variety. Everything old is new again. Merry Christmas Leggs and Allens❤️
So true. Guess the key is to enjoy the one you have right now. Merry Christmas to you!
The ability/opportunity to just be still is hard to find in these days. Glad you got the opportunity. Merry Christmas!
Thank you! So well said and such great perspective. Facing our first “official” empty nest Christmas since the baby graduated and moved out on his own (even though the older kids have been celebrating with their families for a few years now). It was our first Christmas as a couple…well since our first Christmas 33 years ago. I was not looking forward to the quiet Christmas Eve/Morning, but it was so good! We even tried a “new tradition”, Japanese Hibachi dinner after Christmas Eve Service. I think I can get used to this 🙂 Thank you for always speaking such great truth, insight and encouragement into our lives Bret. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Thanks. This first Christmas with no one coming to the house was different, and will take a little getting use to. But God is still good. Thank you for your gracious and encouraging words.