Today I am not going to think about unfinished writing projects or speaking requests. I will deal with those tomorrow because December is slipping away and there is something I must do. Today I will crank up the Christmas music and pull up a chair next to the fireplace. I will finish sewing the Christmas stocking for my new grandson, born just days ago.
Last weekend I returned home from keeping the newborn’s older brother while his parents and infant sibling were in the hospital. As I walked in the door and glanced at my fireplace, I couldn’t help but notice that my husband had already rearranged the stockings to make room for the stocking of the newest family member.
I dropped my bag, suddenly realizing that the gap in the line of stockings was an image of Advent. Of making room when other important things crowd our calendars and our minds. For me, making room requires that I pause and be still.
So today I will put the final stitches on Santa’s beard and let my mind wander through the memories of longago Christmases. I will recall when I was a teenager playing Mary in my church’s living nativity scene on a frigid night. I’ll remember the ugly towel tradition that makes our extended family unique. I’ll replay scenes of squinting in the blinding lights of Uncle Fred’s old 8mm movie camera with enough wattage to light an airstrip.
I’ll remember passing the candlelight on Christmas Eve and watching my excited, pajama-clad children pad down the stairs on Christmas morning. I’ll remember the sound of my father’s voice when he opened the door on Christmas Day and gave a festive “Ho Ho Ho!”
Today I’m making room in my life to remember the stories of my past. To recall the details of the birth of Jesus. To let the words of the carols flood my soul. Then tomorrow as I return the calls and edit the sentences, I will glance at the stockings in a row and remember to make room.