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People, relatives, friends, co-workers, close family … mix them all up with holiday plans and collective traditions, in close spaces, and you can have warm memories, or rough patches of road.

The ideal Christmas – from a glossy magazine, with the perfect tree, and velvet-dressed children, and the flawless family photos … usually not.

Somewhere, in someone’s bag the presents got switched. Some one got forgotten, and maybe a child is envious of another’s gift. Not enough room at the table, and some food burned, and a favorite relative can’t come because they are sick.

Disappointment got in the door somewhere, and we did not invite it. You thought that this year it would be the perfect Christmas. Why did the weather have to delay the flight? Why does this stuff have to spoil any of the holiday?

I am just looking back on the wonderful trip my husband and I took to visit various relatives in different cities over several days. I worked hard to get our presents all gathered well, to have all we needed packed and all the possibilities covered! I blew a few things anyway. Some family was under the weather. Lots of traffic. Presents switched. Okay. What the Lord worked into my understanding was the realization that perfect my way doesn’t happen. But “perfect” does not make memories to draw us close to each other, either, or grow us up.

We gather together, and share stories, and rub personalities together. Love happens, and sparks can fly. Love is not love until it is tested, replayed and continued. Love conquers all.

And Christmas comes around again. We would not even have this precious holiday if Love Himself had not come into the world for us. He is in our celebrations if we are His own. Look back and remember how He got you through, gave you some of your desires. How he got you and them safely to the party. Ask what wisdom you can glean from the stuff that did not go perfectly. Thank Him for it all.

“bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another.”
(Ephesians 4:3 AMP).