Christmas cards did not go out in a timely manner this year.
In fact, owing to a medical crisis involving my dominant hand — AFTER I thought I was in the clear — I have a small stack that needed recipe cards included I had been unable to write until now that won’t be going out until tomorrow, the day AFTER Christmas.
(But, you know, for what it’s worth, when those late cards DO arrive, the recipients can know that they have been thought of often and prayed over and that those cards really are a gift of love even if they are just a little thing.)
This may seem insignificant but I adore Christmas and my cards usually go out Thanksgiving weekend.
Our den, which is absolutely Christmas beautiful, was not finished until Christmas Eve — and my amazing husband did it for our family.
Usually I am one of the November 1st decorators. I have been since I became so spoonie sick and decided to enjoy every bit of Christmas and special and happy and beautiful in this life.
This year, though, so many waves of sick just kept coming through the holiday season.
Still, my husband made it so beautiful.
Then we piled up in our den and spent hours together talking and laughing and sharing gifts and having fun.
I will confess — total wife and mom moment — I had been stressing hardcore that, despite having ordered everything in a timely fashion, the reindeer are overworked and understaffed this year and quite a few of our gifts are scattered from here to Kalamazoo.
I have been watching.
I have been tracking.
I. Have. Been. BOTHERED.
However, when I sat with my beautiful family together, with the advent wreath lit, Christ candle in the center and so much JOY, getting to see them open gifts that were carefully chosen from the heart, thinking of what they might really enjoy, have fun with, want, I was just HAPPY.
Not only happy but really joyful.
Santa can come — via UPS, USPS, reindeer, elf, or Fedex — whenever, and — as a proper Methodist/Episcopal lady, I will remind us all that we are actually now only beginning the Twelve Days of Christmas so maybe this is how it should be anyway.
So, this Christmas morning, before my family is awake to have stockings and get all cozy in our pjs for a day of togetherness and football and Christmas movies — I can’t wait — what it is most on my heart, what I can’t stop thinking about, is this:
In the middle of the craziest, hardest, sickest year of my life — and MANY of our lives — the Lord has seen fit to bless me with the best year and the best Christmas also.
So much more than I deserve.
- I won’t get to see my parents today — I don’t get to see them with COVID — but I’ve already texted them and they are healthy and cozy at home, having Christmas. We have an ongoing text thread and talk through our days and share links and memes and it is one of my great joys to be close even when we can’t be physically together.
- One of my dearest friends fell terribly ill with COVID in September. She and I have fought spoonie battles together for many years and to see her suffer through this battle has been devastating. But. . . God. She HAS fought and held on to the Lord. He has been faithful and she is HERE. She is still in the hospital, gaining strength and recovering, but messaging and talking to her through the days and praying and walking through this and being together at Christmas even if I’m not physically allowed to go to the hospital (being immunocompromised stinks) is one of the greatest Christmas gifts I could have EVER asked for. She is HERE. Thank you, Father.
- My husband’s family, who live a few hours from us, have also stayed healthy and I am so thankful. Though we are all celebrating “separately together” this year, it is a blessing to be able to do so.
- My bestie/sister lives in the next state over and I miss her something fierce — but I am incredibly thankful for her health and our Zoomy Zoom Christmas later today (my CRPS decided to rebel yesterday during the day and reschedule it for us. Spoonie Christmas).
- My precious service dog Henry literally tends to fall ill if I become seriously ill myself and has developed autoimmune disease also. We seriously take two of the same meds — which never fails to make me laugh. Earlier this year, when I was seriously ill, Henry also became very seriously ill. However, he fully recovered by the grace of God and I am profoundly thankful. He is HERE.
- Several dreams have come, and are coming, true — and they are total God things. From my blog growing to my Medium to getting the opportunity to go back to school at Mississippi State to getting to write a devotional for spoonies (oh my word!), the Lord has truly seen fit to bless me in ways I could have never imagined.
- Finally, I HAVE been incredibly ill at times this year. I won’t go through all the gory details again but I’ve been septic, I’ve had a few rounds of osteomyelitis, I’ve required long term iv antibiotic therapy, I’ve seen my CRPS run amok and spread to new organ systems, I’ve developed insane new allergies and syndromes, and I’ve had some new autoimmune issues find me. A major hip surgery found its way into the mix too. All of this as an immunocompromised person during a pandemic. There were many tears and many times I wasn’t sure I would be okay. But. . . God. He is a good good Father. I. Am. HERE.
So, as I sat with my beautiful family last night, talking and laughing and watching Christmas movies, sharing gifts and eating yummy food that my daughter worked so hard to prepare because I can literally eat about seven things (and she even made a gluten free version of my grandmother’s special m&m cookies I haven’t Had since I was a little girl!), I realized that this crazy quarantine Christmas, even with chaos and illness and reindeer on the loose, is my favorite Christmas ever.
Be well, everybody.