There have been times when, dead on my feet, at the striking of the midnight hour on Christmas eve I stood wrapping gifts, digging out bows from plastic bags, scribbling on tiny gift tags, hoping my supply of tape would not fail me, and trying, for a few more hours, to maintain some semblance of the Christmas Spirit. My ideal for late Christmas nights does not include such stress, and I certainly don’t want the wrapping of gifts for my loved ones to be merely a taxing chore through which I must plow before I can get on to the next scheduled round of holiday reveling and merrymaking. I’m of the mind that the trappings of Christmas should in no way swallow up authentic joy and the genuine celebration of the birth of Jesus.
On Thursday last, I shopped for the final gifts, and in the evening, I wrapped them. Although I admit that wrapping a large number of gifts is a tiring task, at the same time that simple chore fed me a glittering dose of pleasure. A little room that we call the game room opens off the balcony overlooking our living room and there, besides boxes of games, checker boards, and the like is a piece of cabinetry where I store wrapping paper, bows, and gift boxes. A square antique table, whose weathered surface we don’t worry about has been the scene of many a rowdy family game, and I use that table on which to place the gifts for wrapping.
Throughout the year it’s neat to have a spot where the wrapping materials are easily accesible and I often leave out this basket of ribbons. I must admit it doesn’t always look this neat in the little room , and if I were more honest, I would have taken pictures when I was up to my neck in paper and ribbon scraps, and the cupboard drawers were sprawled open and the floor was littered with plastic bags and the waste basket was overflowing…or when the grandkids don’t put back the games, and puzzle pieces are scattered all over and Chinese checker marbles are rolling around underfoot. Some day I might snap a few pictures when Chloe and the boys take over the room to wrap presents for their parents or to devise very special decorations for whatever season is in vogue.
Taken in (See more photos here)
But I digress. A hot fire roared in our fireplace on Thursday’s holiday evening as I wrapped the presents and thought of my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and how blessed I am to have so many of them. Christmas carols played over our stereo unit and Jerry sat in his easy chair before the fire. Finally I was finished. I sorted the gifts by families, and set some at the top of the stairs. These we would bring back to Lake Havasu for our family here. The rest of them I placed on the piano that sets a mere few feet from the game room. I left the angels among the gifts, and after a while I lighted candles and looked…and thought…and cried a little…for my family, for Jesus, for candles and love, and for the spirit of Christmas.