I wonder, what does Jesus want for Christmas? And so I asked. I said it out loud. “Hey, Friend, it is me… Jami with no E. Jesus, what do you want for Christmas?”
And yes, I know, this sounds childish. But, in real life, I want to be child-like this year. This year is the last year, Sophie, our youngest biological child, will still live at home. Next year, she’ll come “home” for Christmas. Having launched three before her, I know, it will never be the same.
Granted, it is still good. God still is sovereign. And yet, when I was a little girl, all I wanted for Christmas was baby dolls. I would practice on them, diligently, for the day that I would be a mom. It never occurred to me, mothering meant those babies I craved, would turn into adults… who leave.
Ungrateful fruit of my womb, keepers of my heart. Why Lord? Why is this the plan?
I imagined I would be a very good mommy. And yet, motherhood is a mixed bag of highs and bottom feeding.
No, I am not going LIVE, drunk in my closet, desperate for followers. You and I are both too busy for that. Do what you will. You don’t need me.
Alas, I am a writer. This is how I process. And tonight, having clung to mothering past my prime, I was guilted into attending “Cookies with Santa” at the second batch of children’s elementary school. I will start by saying, public school after-hour functions are a good reason to consider homeschooling. Also, sterilization.
However, I want the two young boys we adopted into our lives, to have fond memories of Christmas. I did my best to negotiate. Our lawyer drew up the contract, 6 lunches at the school over the course of the next 8 weeks… Happy Meals, with extra fries. Christmas cookies tomorrow night, with a marathon of Christmas movie watching… past 9:30.
Puppy dog eyes and the statement, “But Mommy, eBerbody is gonna be dare! Don’t youm want to see my classroom?” taunted me.
No. I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I really like these little people. But, in all honesty, I taught 1st grade and I have a Pinterest. I know that a large majority of teachers are making their rooms look like trendy coffee houses this season. Nope, I cannot be fooled.
So, not only did I take them to “Cookies with Santa,” I have to go to EIGHT lunches at the school over the course of the next 8 weeks… Happy Meals, with extra fries. Christmas cookies tomorrow night, with a marathon of Christmas movie watching… past 10:30.
Darn it if there weren’t several loopholes in that blasted contract. I need a new lawyer.
Still, we went. There were no surprises. Well, there was one.
Sam, our 7-year-old, ran and hugged this wimpy looking kid, slightly gray and sweaty. And I heard Sam say, “Are you feelin’ better?” This kid, and his mother, my nemesis, expanded. Wednesday this child threw up at school. TODAY, THURSDAY, his mother… also known as the Beelzebub, sent him back to school and he only made it to 10:30… when he began to vomit…again.
To further this woman’s crime against humanity, she then escorted the contagious child to “Cookies with Santa.”
I would post her picture here with a warrant out for her arrest, but as previously stated, my lawyer isn’t the best. So I will wait until I have appropriate counsel.
All I want for Christmas is this woman and her savage ways to keep their black plague away from my family. If we get a stomach bug, this very well could be my last post from the outside my prison cell.
I am fully cognizant of the consequences and am prepared to face them.
It is a just cause.
I did take a picture of the madness. There were many parents, half our ages, but otherwise, just like my husband and I , rubbing their faces; the “tell” of exasperated parents at an after-hours school function.
Just when I thought all was lost, I heard a woman say, “No! Do not drink out of that water fountain! That last kid was a faucet sucker. He will probably grow up to be a serial killer.”
You dear woman, you are my spirit animal. I love you. If you read this, call me.
In the midst of the insanity, which also included a 45-minute wait and $10 a pop visit with “Santa,” which by the way is extortion, I got bit by the Christmas bug. As we waited, I looked down at two little boys, completely infatuated with the process. And I remembered two things:
It is nicer to be fed by someone who wants to feed you.
Jesus, what do you want for Christmas?
And after dousing my littles in an inappropriate amount of hand sanitizer, which they refused to drink, I succumbed to an Americanized-Christmas lifestyle. One that includes after-hour, elementary school, germ fests, complete with a commercialized, skinny, greedy Santa… one I suspect was the assistant principal with a throw pillow in his suit.
I leaned in and drank deep of the holiday kool-aid. We made ornaments. And I watched a young, taut Cross-fit mom help her kindergartener make a construction-paper reindeer while simultaneously fishing cotton balls out of her six-month old’s toothless mouth.
They do look delicious. I pity the baby that takes their first bite, only to find… it is just a cotton ball, flavorless and dry.
So drunk on the spirit of Christmas all around me, I had the audacity to say, “Oh, Justin, we should get one more…”
And dear Justin, who had not sipped of the bitter Christmas brew said, “ARE YOU DRUNK OR STUPID? DO YOU WANT TO COME BACK HERE WHEN WE ARE SIXTY?!?!?”
Which reminded me, I did not… and this why my parents declined the invitation.
We escaped unscathed.
Jesus, please… let us be unscathed. I can’t do the stomach flu. I promise I will be nicer. And I am sorry I despise that woman. You have enough love to cover me in my rebel contempt… Amen.
We went out for Mexican food.
I had the largest margarita legally available in the state. We ate nachos. And two little boys raved about the “bestest night” of their year.
Again, I remembered it is better to be fed by someone who wants to feed you.
We laughed and chatted. Sam told stories about the things he is learning. Compound words, syllables, and capital letters at the beginning of sentences. Charlie ate his ice cream cone from the bottom up, never dripping a single drip, a Christmas miracle. And we belly rolled at a story Sam told about a teacher that used to work at his school. Sam said, “She was such a savage, she ‘spected’ the kindergarteners to know their times tables!”
I recounted… they hear me. They hear the adults around them… the savages, the contagious, the brutes, the less than enthusiastic, and the adoring.
Jesus, what do you want for Christmas?
I came to give you life abundant.
Celebrate me. In this life, there will be stomach bugs, crowded gymnasiums, financial stress, and black-Friday shoppers. And you will face adversity. That’s why the Margarita’s are so big. But also, there are little boys who remember the wonder.
There are volunteers who ring bells outside of the grocery store and tired teachers who stayed way past their pay grade to glue cotton balls on printed worksheets of Santa. There are opportunities to give a little more, treat each other better, buy Toys for Tots, eat copious amounts of chips and salsa, and laugh.
That is what I want for Christmas…”
It occurs to me, I have live steeped in the belief that I should feel guilty for not loving Jesus more at Advent. I have believed, I too should suffer, because He did.
So, I checked in again… Jesus, what do you want for Christmas?
And I promise I took the deepest breath of belief. No, I don’t believe it was the chaos, the margaritas, or Christmas cookies. I believe it was Him.
I came to give you life abundant. And Jami, thou shall not kill. No, not even germ spreaders.”
I ate chips and salsa with the humans I adore.
I rested in the arms of the Jesus who was born poor, that I might celebrate richly. And I was very happy. I shared nachos with my youngest daughter, who leaves for college in August. We sang Christmas carols. And we laughed and rejoiced, abundantly.
I won’t be killing any germ spreaders. That is not for me. I am lead by the spirit, not by the law. But I am only human… I still don’t like her.
I could spend my time sitting in ashes begrudging the season. And I could heap guilt on, and wear it like a badge of honor, fancifully decorated with paper and bows. Certainly, I could buy in and fully believe the lie, I should be stressed, hurried, and altogether “Grinchy.” I could easily gobble up the pangs of “He did… so I should.”
Or I can and will embrace the wonder of a child. I can dwell on a girl younger than my Sophie, pregnant with a child, she was incapable of conceiving. A child she knew would suffer and die, so that I might celebrate His birth, freely.
What does Jesus want for Christmas?
I propose He wants us to live well. At peace with the chaos, fully adored and fed by He who wanted to feed us… unto His brutal death. Truly there is nothing much worse than a gift that is poorly received.
And all the weary and germ-infested shout… Hallelujah.
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Jesus be all over you. Love, Jami
The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly. John 10:10
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