I’ve been indulging in Christmas Movies over the past couple of weeks. They have never really been my thing but the more I watched, the more I fell in love with the beautiful locations they are filmed in, the Christmas scenes and actually, the scripts aren’t half bad. Sometimes a little predictable but often the message within the storyline is thought provoking and touching.
A Christmas miracle is of course always captured at the end of each movie.
The very first Christmas miracle was so far removed from our romantic concept of Christmas today.
Mary and Joseph had a very uncertain and tumultuous time ahead of them that first Christmas. They needed to find a place to stay. They needed to protect their baby from harm’s way.
Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger. This is where the stable animals would have been fed. Nothing 5 star about the experience…or even 1 star for that matter.
There was though angels from on high and an amazing star in the sky, leading the shepherds and wise men from afar. Much more important than a Trivago rating.
Fast forward to 2019 and life still doesn’t always run smoothly. The perfect winter scene Christmas card, isn’t a true reflection of the real meaning of Christmas.
It doesn’t mean we can’t experience “Christmas Miracles” or special moments today. Often they are private and understated, just like the stable where Jesus was born. Nobody would even know the absolute joy they have brought you.
Christmas miracles can come in ways we weren’t expecting, but we need to be open to receiving them. If we are caught up with much busyness, attending parties, hosting family get togethers etc , we may miss the significance of a seemingly small gesture, which has much greater meaning.
It’s these kinds of understated events which can be so uplifting and so emotional, you just know it’s your own little “Christmas Miracle”.
A Very Real Script
Sometimes life is the best script ever. I’m often overwhelmed by moments where a series of “non scripted” events, result in an outcome I couldn’t possibly have imagined.
As my readers know, my life is pretty simple due to the limitations my bone disease imposes on me.
While I could do without my pain levels, the simple life is one I’ve happily accepted.
As a result of my health though, I nearly missed out on a series of Christmas Miracles, which have proved to be priceless.
In November each year I begin the annual task of writing our Christmas Newsletter and Christmas cards.
My husband and I have lived in many areas of Australia, with his work as an Anglican Clergyman and mine as an Executive Manager in the finance industry. We’ve made life-long friends along the way and we love hearing their news and sharing ours. So as you can imagine the mailing list is not short.
Physically it is really beyond my capabilities now and I was contemplating giving this annual tradition a miss this year.
Yes, I could possibly send emails instead of writing cards and printing newsletters, but there is something so special I think, about receiving actual mail in the letterbox at Christmas.
It’s probably the romantic in me!!
So, I decided I needed to persevere with my annual tradition, at least one more time. I paced the task over 3 weeks and by the first week of December the pile of mail was ready for my husband to take to the Post Office.
Mission accomplished, I turned my focus to other things.
There was one special card in the pile though. I had found some old photos of my eldest nephew and me from a Christmas about 30 years ago. They brought back such beautiful memories for me and given I don’t have children of my own, I felt it was time to start giving these kinds of tangible memories to my nephew. I was hoping he would enjoy the trip down memory lane.
A week after the cards were posted, I received a text from my nephew thanking me for the photos and letting me know they “made his day, they mean a lot”…his words!
His message brought me so much joy. I wasn’t sure if he’d want them and I hesitated in sending them. I was so glad I listened to that still small voice saying, “just send them”!!
I’ve now got a New Year task of putting a photo album together for him of all the photos I have of him growing up. I’m so looking forward to doing it and sending it to him with love.
After knowing the joy those old photos brought my nephew and me, I couldn’t believe what arrived in the mail this week.
Among some beautiful letters from old friends with lovely Christmas greetings, was a card from a very special lady. I’ve mentioned before I migrated to Australia with my parents from the Uk when I was 3 years of age.
My parents built a new home once they arrived and our new Aussie neighbours became wonderful family friends. I grew up with the boys next door from age 3 to 11 and I have such special menories of those years and the adventures we shared together.
The Christmas Card was from my neighbour all those years ago. She is a lovely lady and we both look forward to our annual newsletters. This year though as I opened the card, her letter fell out but so did something else. It was a photo. Not just any photo….it was a photo of me and the boys next door, standing outside my childhood home. I would have been 4 years old.
I immediately saw the significance of this photo. I had sent my nephew old photos which meant so much to him and a few weeks later, I received an old photo which was so unexpected and so special to me.
I couldn’t have scripted it if you’d asked me to!! A simple, understated Christmas miracle.
Christmas Connections and Choices
Christmas conjures up all kinds of emotions and memories for us. Some beautiful, some sorrowful, and some we’d much prefer we could forget altogether.
Ultimately though the underlying theme of our memories and thoughts is how they connect to our lives. The connections of our past, present and future.
It’s probably why the famous ” A Christmas Carol” script and the story of Scrooge, has lived on through the years. It’s focused on the past, present and future connections in life and the choices made. The choices which can change our own life scripts for better or for worse.
I could have chosen to send no cards this year. Had I made that choice I would have missed out on my special Christmas blessing. I would have missed out on being a blessing to others, as well as receiving many cards of love and support from lifelong friends. We even received an unexpected phone call from friends we hadn’t spoken to for 15 years….all because I chose to send the newsletter.
In the busyness of life, or perhaps the solitude if you are on your own, don’t be afraid to be quiet. Don’t be afraid to expect your own understated miracles, not just at Christmas but all year through.
Think carefully about the choices you make. Sometimes when we choose not to do something, we may miss out on a blessing we never expected to occur.
Chronic illness is limiting, there is no question about it. However, there is always something we can do, within our limitations, which may bring someone else some joy and in turn can be a blessing for us too.
I hope, no matter the season, there are events for many people which are understated, but simply perfectly scripted life moments, that mean so much.
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding and friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
I’m also a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women
If you would like to read a little more about my journey, here’s the link to My Story
WEGO Health Award Nominee 2019- Best in Show Blog