Two for one today friends.
But firstly Happy New Year.
I hope it’s treating you well. I hope it promises much. I hope your doing OK.
So now those words
So the word WITH was the final Five Minute Friday word for 2018. I wrote zero words and totally missed the link up but as words sometimes do this one stayed with me anyway.
And now the first prompt word for 2019 is BETTER and I got me some thoughts on that one as well so as I said two for one but I won’t keep you long.
We were together, I forget the rest.
Very appropriate for the time of year when being with family and friends is such a big part of our Christmas and holiday celebrations.
And with this last Christmas I was reminded all over again that being with the people I love wins out hands down without question over
- having everything go to plan
- ticking all the boxes on our “this is what we do at Christmas” list
- having the house all spruced and Christmas ready
Of course it’s lovely when things do go to plan, when the food turns out how it’s meant, when the house shines as I like it to and guests and or children, take your pick, behave the way they should.
Lovely yes – but not essential to joy shared and thanks given and a good time being had. Not even nearly.
So this year things didn’t go to plan and in quite a spectacular way. Ken went into hospital on the 23rd of December with a badly infected wound on his foot and is still there as I write this. Daddy not being home for Christmas was a big disappointment for the kids, not because they thought they would miss out on anything but because we wouldn’t all be together at home.
But as we found out a bung foot and a hospital bed aren’t enough to ruin Christmas. Change of scenery you might call it, a slight detour.
So on the day, we traipsed ourselves up to the hospital after present opening at home and in amongst the antiseptic smells and hard light of the hospital ward we had ourselves a sweet little Christmas. I drank tea out of a plastic cup and we ate the lollies and chocolates that had been left at Kens bedside. The kids pulled a solitary Christmas cracker and laughed up big in telling various versions of the joke inside. We took funny photos and gave Ken his presents and though stuck in hospital Ken God bless him simply has a way of making the kids laugh and making any situation a bit of fun.
We spent the latter part of the day with the kind of friends who are family and my sister and I ate lunch there mid afternoon in the cool breeze of the verandah. A pot luck of what everyone had brought along. I discovered then that I’d left the lemon juice out of my signature Christmas dish so I splashed a bit on there and then and it all got eaten just the same. We played board games which got funnier by the minute, ate cheese, sipped some wine and I was happy just to be in the company of these good people I call my friends and family, all of us with our raggedy edges, all of us a bit tired and worn, all of us keeping gratitude and hope close by.
We focus a lot on the details of Christmas – and of course the things we do – the wrapping and baking and arranging and decorating is part of our celebrating – but it turns out only the tiniest increments of any of these are needed when the people your with are the main event.
Christmas is in the withness
And you know what, the kids won’t remember too much all the details that we bend ourselves in half over, that we think are so important to them – but I bet they’ll remember how they felt, they’ll remember the fun, they’ll remember the feeling of being safe and loved and seen. Thats what gets sealed beneath the skin, that’s what hints at the eternal.
So straggling my way into the new year I’m reminding myself
Choose being WITH, choose along side, choose the long chat, choose playing the game and sharing the joke. Choose to stay with even when it gets uncomfortable and awkward because that’s all part of it too.
The rest is all just decoration.
Now to that other word. BETTER – this one was simple.
I say better Christmas spent in a hospital room with good medicine than Ken not with us at all. They were our options.
Better a simple gathering with the ones you love than an abundance without them.
Better a plan go astray than losing everything.
better Gods ways than mine.
A sudden turn of events may feel like a derailment, it might feel like a good hard kick in the shins, it might even make us wonder what will become of us all, but it has a way of making realer, more honest, truer people of us.
Better that than a game of charades.
And better a grateful heart than a bitter one.
Any day, anytime.
We may not depict these ordinary places on Christmas cards. We may not celebrate them in song. But this is where we live and wonder lives here too. Christie Purifoy (Roots and Sky).
Thanks for reading friends. You can read what others have done with there five minutes worth here.
Would love to hear your thoughts so feel free to leave them in the comments below.