December 25th comes and it goes marvelously quickly, doesn’t it? We spend weeks (maybe months) planning parties, wrapping gifts, detangling twinkle lights, and then in a matter of twenty-four hours… poof! It is December 26th. The same can be said of most other holidays: organizing elaborate dates for Valentine’s Day, prepping the perfect BBQ for the 4th of July, organizing a family reunion for Thanksgiving. They’re here one day and gone the next, and we find ourselves barreling towards the next big things.
But Christmas is different. At least it can be. When we wake up on December 26th, the twinkly lights often remain. Bits of discarded wrapping paper can be found between couch cushions as we settle in for a last round of Home Alone or accidentally attached to a new puppy’s paw as it pads clumsily down the hallway. Glitter lingers on cheeks pink from the snow and Santa smiles from silly socks we wear well into the New Year. The magic of Christmas lingers, and the miracle remains true.
Mary had nine months to prepare for her big day. She knew what was coming, and her heart was likely as giddy and anxious as ours tend to be this time of year, if not more so. Then her “December 25th” finally came, the one she had been waiting and praying for, when precious Jesus came into the world and was wrapped in swaddling clothes, nestled into her arms. And on her “December 26th” she awoke, and he was still there. The miracle lingered. It probably cried a little. But Jesus remained true.
Luke 2:19 says, “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Months ago she met an angel, then one night she saw the star shine above the stable, a beacon over her painful labor in a barn hardly fit for the coming king, and later shepherds appeared with tales of angels singing. You can bet your bottom dollar she didn’t forget those things the very next day. She treasured them. Remembered them. Snuggled her baby boy to her chest and gave thanks for them and him.
May we remember to do the same this Christmas season. May we think on the ways he has been faithful, months ago and in the past few days. May we treasure the little moments of joy He has provided, pondering them in our hearts, drawing near to His presence and whispering thanks. May we curl up by the fire, hot cocoa in hand, and let the magic, the miracle linger.
May we carry these things in our hearts into the New Year, and may we never forget.