No time in the year is busier than the Christmas holiday season. Under normal circumstances, it would not be too bad, except for the fact that the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is in charge.
Not complaining, mind you, but she is in charge 365 days out of the year. Her battery never runs down and never needs charging.
I am glad she is like that because it gives me less to do during such busy holiday times. She knows exactly what she is going to do and how she is going to do it and when she is going to do it. My job during the holiday season is to Stay Out Of Her Way.
However, the hustle and the bustle of the holiday season is over and for a minute or two, we can relax.
I never know when that time comes. Like I got up early the other morning and heard from the other side of the bed, “What are you getting up for? Don’t you know Christmas is over?”
When we did get up, she ﬁxed our morning coffee and we sat around the Christmas tree just enjoying the quietness. A few days ago, the whole room was alive with chatter and laughter. You might recognize that as “grandchildren.” Of course, this was the ﬁrst year we had our great grandson with us. It was a hilarious time of noise and activity.
What would Christmas be without that kind of celebration?
Now it is over and we were sitting around staring at the Christmas tree drinking our After-Christmas-Morning-Joe.
Not paying attention to anything that was going on, just enjoying the silence I did not hear my wife sighing. It was a gentle sigh, so I did not hear it right away.
That is the difference between husbands and wives. My wife can hear what I am thinking seven days before I even start thinking. A man, on the other hand, takes seven days just to hear something.
It ﬁnally came to me what she was doing and so I asked, “What are you in such deep thought about?”
That brought another deep sigh and a moment of silence and then she said, “I can’t believe another year is gone.”
At ﬁrst, I did not know what she was talking about so I asked her to repeat and explain what she was talking about.
“I can’t believe,” she repeated with a deep sigh, “that another year has gone by so quickly.”
After a few thoughtful seconds, I begin to understand what she was saying. Another year has slipped by into the silence of the night to be seen no more.
At first, it was a little disconcerting. I was having fun, or so I thought, during the year. To see that go was a little bit disturbing and so I began sighing deep sighs. We formed a wonderful duet singing the “Silent-Night-Sighing-Duo.”
With only a few more hours left of the old year I really did not know how to spend it. It goes by so fast that it is hard for me to keep up. What could I do for a couple of hours that would make this year a remarkable year?
Then my wife challenged me with a very sophisticated question. She certainly knows how to interrogate a person and should be on the FBI’s payroll.
“What was,” she said rather thoughtfully, “the one most important part of this year for you?”
What a question. How can you boil a whole year down to one thing? After all, you have 365 days, 52 weeks and 12 months, how in the world can you boil all that down to one thing?
“I’m not sure,” I said rather hesitatingly. “What was your one important aspect of the year?”
I thought I could deﬂect the question and get her talking about her year and forgetting about my year. She had many things that were very important to her during the year. Most of it had to do with her grandchildren. If there were an annual award for the best grandmother, she would probably win.
Then of course, there were the thrift store shopping escapades. She knows every thrift store in the county and knows everybody working those stores. The most important aspect of this is, they know her and quite well.
I would be failing in my duty as a husband if I did not mention the marvelous cooking and baking she has done throughout the year. She once mentioned that maybe I should go on a diet and I rebutted by saying, “How in the world could I give up eating your delicious food?” She smiled and never mentioned going on a diet again.
Hoping she had forgotten about me, she turned to me and ask, “So, what was the best part of your year?”
Finally, a thought came to me, and I replied, “Spending the year with someone like you.” I thought that would get me off the hook for a while until she responded by saying, “What do you mean someone like me?”
Sometimes no matter what you do or say, it’s not the right thing.
David knew something of this when he wrote, “I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search” (Psalm 77:5-6).
Cherishing good memories makes the New Year that much more exciting.
[Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@ att.net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.]