It can't be only a week to Christmas! I'm not ready! I still have presents to buy! Oh my God, I thought I had a few more days. Did the Christmas cards go out? I need to bake. I still don't know what to get my Boss. I hope he doesn't come to the party. The airport and roads are crazy. Traveling is so hard this time of year. That guy next to me is an ass. I need to make the beds... I hope they don't mind that lumpy sofa bed. Something stinks -- when will I have time to clean? The family will be here tomorrow. We need to get busy. I'll never have enough wrapping paper. Where the hell did the tape get to again? Can you finish the tree? I can't believe it is here already. Where did the time go? It will be a miracle if I get it all done.
The chaos of the holidays is about to expire, kind of like I am on Christmas Eve. Exhausted. Always so much insanity that builds to a fever pitch. And then... Ta-da! Ready or not, here it is. The most anticipated holiday of the year. In living color, in your living room. Bang, there it is. The list will get done and what doesn't get done, doesn't. Family will come or call, love will be exchanged, and hopefully we will remember the reason for the celebration. It's Christ's birthday.
Two thousand and fifteen years ago we were blessed with a true Christmas miracle. Without much fanfare He came. The heat didn't work and there wasn't even a doctor or midwife to be found. But still He came. It was a long exhausting journey with an ass. But still He came. The Shepherds brought impractical presents -- they could have even been re-gifting. And heck, they were not even invited. But they came anyway. I am sure the stable was raw and rank; it was waiting to be mucked out. But it was home. No crib, no bottle, no fancy feast. But still He came. A humble beginning for God incarnate. I'm sure he would have been OK with the love; the rest of what we think of as Christmas just wasn't his style. Simple love is always best.
So, as you check your last minute list, there is but one more presence that you need: simply, Christ in your heart. The rest is just so much trimming and ripped paper... and He will come anyway.
Welcome Christ... Welcome Christmas.