glen miles

A Quiet Christmas

Lara Schopp Articles, Senior Minister Blog


Julie and I spent my day off last week beginning the process of prepping our house for sale. We decided to leave most of the Christmas decor in storage. We will hang the stockings over the fireplace and we have a beautiful Christmas arrangement of flowers from friends on display but nothing more.

At first I was saddened by this. It’s our last Christmas in the home where we have so many wonderful memories of holidays past. I kinda sorta wanted to go ahead and unpack all of the boxes marked “Xmas” and just decorate anyway. I tried to talk myself into setting up the creche with the baby Jesus and the flying angel, hanging the mistletoe above the entryway and putting up all of the many wonderful decorations Julie has collected over the years.

At some point when we were talking about whether we should or should not do our usual thing for December Julie said, “The more I think about this, the more I like the idea of a quiet Christmas. We can put up the stockings, wrap the presents, plan a wonderful meal and simply enjoy each other without going all out like we usually do.”

I liked her idea. But it wasn’t an easy decision. Sometimes we teasingly call Julie, “Christmas Carol.” She loves everything about Christmas. Especially decorating the house inside and out. If she has not figured out her plan for decking the halls by August she feels like she is way behind.

So there is some sadness, but frankly there is some relief, too. We will be free to get the garage sale set up. The time spent placing the candles just so will go toward something much more practical like grooming the dogs.

Then, on Christmas Eve, within the stunning beauty of our sanctuary, sometime around midnight, Julie and our boys and 800 of you will raise candles in the darkness remembering, most likely with tears in our eyes, the Christ Child, who came and lived among us. We will recall the words of the Gospel of John proclaiming, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

This is one of the holiest moments of the church year. Time seems to stand still. In the past I swear I could almost hear the angels singing somewhere in the distance.

I wonder. Maybe a quiet Christmas is what we need to finally hear “The blessed angels sing.”

Grace and peace to you in this holy time,