I may be the only one in here who does this, but between Thanksgiving and New Years when the house is silent and it’s dark out, I snuggle up with a blanket and often a beverage by the lit tree. It’s so peaceful in that silence.
I’ve grown up in church all my life. First a Dutch Reformed, then Southern Baptist, for a little while nothing besides maybe “bedside Baptist” and now Mission Hills. At 20 I spent my first Christmas ever away from my parents & my family. In the last 17 years there have been very few actual Christmases I’ve spent with them. One year I was in an chaotic situation awaiting my first baby. Two years later I was settling into CO in the midst of chaos. After that I started alternating who Kai spent Christmas Eve with & somewhere in here an Elf became part of the story & I had to keep up the Santa charade– Several years later I had a Christmas Eve proposal. A few years after that brought mourning over lost souls and then finally completion of my family with a sleepless little baby. Today I find myself in a season that feels like one of the darkest I’ve walked through.
Every year has its noise.
Through my 37 year journey of different churches, people, relationships, traditions, joys & pains there is 1 thing about Christmas that has always been a constant. It’s the 1 thing I look forward to most and something I only ever remember missing once. It’s that moment at the end of the service. Where the room dims, people have spread the light from candle to candle, the music turns from instrumental to acapella and the candles get raised.
And every time, I choke up.
All is calm.
All is bright.
Do you know how hard it is to hold your candle, experience the moment and get a (good) picture? But in that beautiful moment all the noise stops. Every year. And in those moments of quiet at home by the lit tree, the noise stops. Rocking that sleepless baby and softly singing those lyrics, the noise stopped.
Anyone who has been around a delivery of a baby, a newborn, a barn full of animals— knows it would not have been a Silent Night, more like #AdoredChaos. Somewhere outside was a multitude of heavenly hosts – that couldn’t have been silent. Mary and Joseph’s journey was full of unknowns and fear. Yet in that moment- Silent Night. Holy Night. He stopped the noise for them. And he stops the noise for me.
In that moment, no matter what Christmas looks like, who I’m with, or what church I’m in, I’m grateful for the Silent Night tradition. There’s beauty & peace. There’s something grounding about singing that song, looking around at the glow of the lights. If you haven’t looked at it in awe before, I hope you will this Christmas Eve and that even if for a moment, you feel that all is calm and all is bright and that your noise stops for you. Merry Christmas.