When my husband and I spend Christmas in Waco with his parents, we have a tradition. We pile everyone into the car (dogs included!), pick up hot chocolate or coffee, and look at Christmas lights. Some are stunning – the lights are carefully strung, and decorations are carefully placed to give off a beautiful serene vision of Christmas. Others…not so much. Our favorite home was one we so lovingly dubbed “Christmas Vomitus,” because it truly looked like Christmas had thrown up all over the yard. Every cartoon character imaginable was dressed in holiday garb, Santa made an appearance, as well as Jesus, and a Star of David. While it didn’t provide the awe that the beautiful homes did, we still laughed until we cried, and we talk about it on the years we don’t get to see it.
For some, Christmas is the only time of year when all parts of the family come together. Some shine bright – they have their lives mostly settled, and you can expect little drama. Others are a wild card – you never know what to expect and something might get set on fire at dinner. While it can be draining at times, each one of those family members is a gift from the Lord. Intentionally love on each of them this year, the crazy and the normal, and thank God for the wonderful gift of family.
“Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” Proverbs 10:12