^ My Christmas Eve began with some maddeningly crumbly cookie dough,
^ a shortage of wrapping paper that forced me to MacGyver together a few patchwork presentations,
^ a sick husband who missed out on Christmas Eve worship,
^ and a failed post-church photo shoot.
Shoot. I really needed a good photo to send out with my annual holiday letter.
I began to seriously wonder if my Christmas cards will ever get mailed this year
But it was on Christmas morning, when the ceremonial cinnamon roll landed on my breakfast plate in two pieces (though still tasting of heaven), when the message finally got through to me.
This was not going to be a perfect Christmas.
* * * * *
Now, I've been around the holiday block a few times and I know perfectly well that there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas.
There's always something to take the edge off the holiness, and that's just part of being human.
But this year, more than ever, I'm aware of people who are hurting at Christmas time.
And suddenly, the tiny imperfections in my day took on new meaning. In fact, I no longer saw them as imperfections at all - more like pinholes through which I could see beyond my fairy tale and into the stark reality of other's lives.
^ Our brightly colored and childishly festive stockings still clashed with this year's minimalistic gold and white decor,
^ my carefully staged branch of eucalyptus turned out to be wilted,
^ and my Christmas dinner didn't come together quite as beautifully as I'd hoped.
But as my imperfect Christmas unfolded, my heart turned outward and my thoughts traveled to friends, loved ones, even perfect strangers, whose day was much more humble than mine.
And that made my celebration something much closer to perfect after all.
P.S We finally nailed the family photo on Christmas afternoon. I may just get those cards out!!