The Best Christmas – Carla Aday

Lara Schopp 2017 Advent Devotions

The best Christmas was also the worst Christmas. I was nine and half months pregnant and expecting Connor’s arrival on Dec 26. Wringing my hands about all that still needed to happen before Christmas and childbirth, my husband encouraged me to sit down and write my Sunday sermon. “If you get the sermon finished, he will probably arrive early.” And he did. Just a few hours after I printed out the sermon, I landed in the hospital and on Sunday morning, December 17, Connor Harrison Ehman filled our lives with joy. After a few days in the NICU, a healthy baby boy and a thrilled first time mother were chauffeured home by my Mom.

Our home still lacked any signs of Christmas decor but it didn’t seem to matter since we had a 7-pound newborn dressed in a red Santa suit. Dave drug home a bedraggled Christmas tree that Charlie Brown would have found too ugly. (I am not proud of my reaction) I have a foggy recollection of aunts and uncles passing through to coo at the baby but I had no energy for company.

Finally on Christmas day, the emotional drain of those days took their toll. I remember about noon my Mom came back into my bedroom in our tiny apartment where I lay on my bed weeping in the darkness. “Carla, are you ok?” she asked. “Yes, I think I am,” I said, wiping away the tears. “Maybe I just feel tired and overwhelmed and need a little time alone to rest.” I remember her question as a little candle that she lit for me. Comfort, tenderness, compassion, the love that a mother knows when her daughter becomes a mother. It was the year that I cooked nothing, decorated nothing. But it was the best Christmas ever.

– Carla Aday