Cucina e finita. The kitchen is done and we have arrived at Marco's parents house for Christmas and New Years. Christmas Eve is here and it will be my first year without clam chowder, minestrone, pies, stockings on Christmas morning, successfully overdoing the cookie baking (due to a single function gas oven and no baking sheets to speak of) and many other traditions which have taken their place in the Sturm/Cosentino family Christmas celebration.
But what about those new things? Like, my first Christmas as a wife. My first Christmas with a husband. My first Christmas with a new Christmas dinner menu. My first Christmas in a different country. It's all very exciting and overwhelming....
Our hope this Christmas is for the Light of God to shine. I love Christmas, truly. I love the lights, the trees, the stockings, the traditions...all of them. But more than all of these things this Christmas, I have realized the whole point of it all. Not for the first time - it is certainly something I've known - but this Christmas without all of the "normal" traditions my mind has been on other things. I haven't had the usual happenings going on all around me and I believe our wonderful Teacher has been using this time to make me so incredibly aware of His presence in spite of traditions as well. I've always known He was there in the midst of traditions, but now, without the "norm"...He's still here. And I feel more aware of Him than ever. And my biggest prayer this Christmas is for others to see Him too. To see Him more brightly as the lines and lines of brake lights that make up Christmas traffic (it's an international thing, trust me). To see Him more prominently than the realization that another year has passed us by. More than ever before I feel so contradictory in my feelings - extreme sadness for the bleak outlook that so many people succumb to during this time of year and extreme joy at the hope and life we have to celebrate this time of year.
I pray that we would look beyond the traditions and traffic, the location and the late deliveries that we would look to our families and friends and praise God for the gifts He has poured out on us.
I think Tiny Tim put it perfectly when he said, "God bless us! Everyone!"