Christmas Eve was weird this year. Christmas Day fell on a Sunday, which meant a lot of families in the ministry had to get a little creative. Our church had a service on – what I like to call – Christmas Adam, several services on Christmas Eve, and a service Christmas morning. Christmas Adam wasn’t a big deal, but Christmas Eve was…just weird.
Shawn was gone a good portion of the day, and I decided the boys and I would hang out in our PJs most of the holiday. I thought about getting them out of the house, but I knew stores would be slammed and heck to the no was I dealing with that mayhem. I thought about driving them around to look at Christmas lights, but I didn’t want Shawn to miss out on a family tradition. So at home – in our PJs- we stayed. We had breakfast. We played. We had lunch. They took naps. I changed diapers. I wiped noses, butts, and faces. They snacked. We cuddled. We read.
We pretty much did the exact same things we do every single other day of our lives. I did read the boys “The Polar Express,” and they cuddled on the couch to watch the movie in the evening. As I turned the final page of Shawn’s favorite childhood book, I realized why Christmas Eve was so stinkin’ weird this year.
Shawn wasn’t here.
Don’t misunderstand – I have absolutely no bitterness at him needing to be at church most of the day. It’s part of ministry, part of life, and could be so much worse. The trade-off was the entire week after Christmas that he got to spend at home. Totally worth it.
But it dawned on me that without Shawn, Christmas is just not the same. We’ve been on our own for Christmas since 2005, and I guess I didn’t realize how much sharing those experiences with him meant to me. The day truly felt like any other day. Shawn got home after the boys were asleep, and when I hugged him my heart felt at peace.
It’s as if -in his arms- my soul could say, “Ahhh…now it’s Christmas.”