In our post yesterday, Contented, we talked about learning "in whatsoever state I am, to be content." (Philippians 4:11.) Last week, our family was put in a position to choose contentment regarding our Christmas celebrations.
Each year we celebrate Christmas at our house, which begins with the opening of presents and is followed by our Christmas meal. The Christmas dinner menu is almost always the same. Additional items can be added to the menu, but none of the original items can be deleted by word of the Supreme Ruler of the Menu, Emmie Davis. I usually begin cooking a few days before Christmas, working around my night-shift work schedule.
This year was no different. The menu was determined and I began cooking on Monday, December 20th. The dressing and spinach were in their casserole dishes, ready to be baked. The turkey had been cleaned and was ready to be placed in the brine overnight.
On December 22nd, I had one errand to run. I needed to run by the Urgent Care for them to look at my burning ears and throat, get a prescription for the antibiotics I need every year in the winter, get a negative Covid test (since I had been exposed to a +Covid co-worker) and come home to finish the rest of the cooking.
Only I didn't get a prescription for an ear infection, I received instead instructions on how to deal with my Covid infection. (You can read my post about that here.)
Our family was faced with a choice. Could we be content with Christmas in a way other than how we always celebrated it?
The first recommendation offered by our family was to reschedule Christmas two weeks from now. Having already cooked most of the holiday meal, and with a 20+ pound turkey thawed in the refrigerator, I wasn't thrilled with that solution.
The next suggestion was for everyone to come over as usual and I would just sequester myself in the back of the house. No one was happy with that idea.
Then our daughter Emmie came up with the winning plan. She suggested that since all of us are either vaccinated, or have had Covid or both, we should still meet for Christmas. She also suggested that we open presents and eat outside and use social distancing. I, of course, would wear a mask the whole time, as well.
Our son and his wife, Jessica, graciously offered their patio, which was spacious enough for all of us, and our son even decorated it with garland and Christmas lights and stockings, to add to the festivities.
The ever-present Baldwin County breeze blew the Covid germs away from us as we opened presents and ate our usual Christmas fare outside. My husband summed the day up in this text to our family:
"Yesterday was a bellweather day in our family's history. By God's grace, we went from 'we'll postpone for two weeks,' to having one of our best Christmas's ever. The Lord gave us perfect weather, everyone adapted seamlessly, and we had yet another happy time together.
So, thanks to the Lord for the gift of yesterday, that wonderfully reflected THE GIFT.
Thanks to Emmie for the idea and the inspiration. Brilliant!
Thanks to Noah and Jess for the accommodations and hard work. Wow!
Thanks to Marie for ensuring Sally is with us, and for resurrecting Aunt Margaret's Chex mix. Dangerous!
Thanks to Jack, Emma, Ewan, and Evelyn for having such a great attitude and being so much fun despite the changes we had to make. And I'm sure y'all helped get ready. Super!
Thanks to the Three Wise Pups for spiritually bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Woof!
Sally, Ellie and Mr. Bates
Thanks to everyone for the amazing generosity expressed through the family to one another. Incredible!
As I said last night, God has given to us an amazing family. I know we don't take it for granted, but I know we all want to appreciate it more. During all the activity yesterday, I sat back for a moment and took it all in. Gratitude and thanksgiving was just not enough to do justice for such grace bestowed upon us.
'Now thanks be unto God for His unspeakable Gift' (II Corinthians 9:15). ' "Our family made the choice to take a difficult, unexpected situation and see it as a wonderful adventure together. We collectively made the choice to be content, and content we were.