I'll be home for Christmas
Every three years, we’ve had the joy of holidaying in the country of our birth. 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010. As my son impatiently reminded us many times over, it was time again this year, 2013 for our next trip to Sri Lanka. There was a snag however. Finding a suitable date was difficult. My operation in January took months out of our schedule. Shan and I were immersed in work. Asela’s studies kept him busy all year. Our son worried that we wouldn’t make it to Sri Lanka in 2013 after all.
And then – Shan said something that both surprised and thrilled us. ‘Let’s go to Sri Lanka for Christmas.’ Asela and I looked at him wide eyed. ‘For Christmas?’ The extra cost of plane tickets in December usually stopped us from doing that. But this time my beloved, generous husband said “Let’s do it”. Wow! Thank you Shan. What an exciting plan!
Christmas in Sri Lanka after 17 years. How awesome is that! I was specially glad to figure out that I’d be spending Christmas in the room of my childhood. Warmth and gladness envelope me now as I reflect on it, a light blanket that covers me, making me feel contented and snug. I was only 7 months old when my family came to reside at No. 10; I was 28 going on 29 when I married and left home. So I’ve spent 28 years in the room of my childhood.
A lovely large bedroom it was, painted in light green then with high ceilings, two large windows, bunk beds, cool red cement floors. As for the memories it holds? Sisterly giggles and sisterly fights, whispered confidences, prayers, smiles, tears, joy, laughter, fun, a bride’s hopes and dreams… that room has seen it all. 28 years in one room? That room has seen more of me than the other 10 rooms I've occupied in the next 28 years. Because, you see, I've also been married for close to 28 years.
So it was half a lifetime ago that I last spent Christmas in that room. I well remember that Christmas when dizzy with delight, I welcomed my fiancé back home after his 15 month stint studying in Santa Barbara. We were getting married!
And now it’s 2013. 28 years later. And I’ll be home for Christmas.
A kaleidoscope of memories flash through my mind and my heart quickens as I remember. The season always began with my Dad’s magnificent birthday party. Under Mum’s expert direction, the 7 of us kids acted in a nativity play for our family and friends. What fun we had – hiding in the kitchen practicing, so Dad wouldn’t know what we were up to. Carols, food, laughter, songs, joy… on every 19th December. It was a wonderful start to the Christmas celebrations.
And then…we had our church Carol service on Christmas Eve – filled with glad music and song. A nativity on our church roof for passers by to view and hear the Christmas story - it gathered a large crowd and traffic on the main road often came to a halt. On Christmas morning, there were squeals of delight as the 7 of us raced to each others rooms sharing our treasures. A special breakfast - milk rice and seeni sambol, breudher and cheese. Church at a packed service - all 9 of us - followed by having family and friends over for a delectable mouth watering Christmas lunch. One of the best parts of Christmas for us kids were the annuals we got to choose as our Christmas gifts. We’d retreat to our rooms on Christmas afternoon to have a read – I can still smell the new pages.. ah… what blissful memories!
I’ll be home for Christmas. Where the warmth of family will embrace me. Where music of past Christmases will play a sweet melody within. Where re-kindling friendships and family times will bring joy. Where relationships will be strengthened and loving ties renewed.
I’ll be home for Christmas. But wait! It’s not just a location you know. It’s a place I can go to, no matter where I am. I’ll be home for Christmas. At my Father’s Table. A Table that invites us all. The sad, the lost, the lonely; the lame, the blind, the hurt; the broken-hearted. Everyone’s invited to gather around His table. He calls us no matter who we are; no matter what state we are in - sick or whole; sad or joyful; weary or refreshed; doubting or full of faith; foolish or learned; in tattered clothing or in party attire. As we tiptoe to a stable in Bethlehem this season, we will find Jesus, a new born baby, who came down to earth for every one of us. The Best News!
I’ll be home for Christmas. Enjoying the presence of my family; my heart filled with thanksgiving. I’ll be home for Christmas, feasting at my Father’s table. To worship Christ the new born king; He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Will you join me?
But the angel said to them“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today, in the town of David, a Saviour has been born to you;
He is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:10,11