I decided to host Christmas for my family this year. We moved to a new home in May. I want to commemorate the first year in our new home, surrounded by my favorite things, with my favorite people, for my favorite holiday.
Rather than showcase the perfect matchy-matchy theme of holly inspired China and crystal drinking glasses sitting in my grandmother’s China hutch, awaiting their one-day-per-year grand debut, I wanted to do something a little different this year. Thus, arose my vision of a hodge-podge vintage Christmas. Everyone will find an old-school festive drinking glass, unique to their own personality. The plates will be a combination of old English Yuletide, 20s inspired holiday cheer, and a few 70s vintage nostalgic pieces for good measure. Tea, wine, coffee, and eggnog will be available, and served in unique holders of holiday cheer long passed…
Why this crazy, mismatched, seemingly unorganized chaos from my otherwise ‘Perfection-is- Key!’ Hospitality Handbook?
Not only are the family and friends who will be sitting around my dining room table a diverse mixture of beloved life stories, adventures, joys, losses, and redeeming second chances……but it brings me back to the unique way in which God chose to showcase the Savior of the world to….the world.
He was not born in the cleanliness and decorum of a servant-run household. He was not delivered by a trained nursemaid, should any birthing complications arise. His arrival was not the perfectly appointed entrance to the world many anxiously waited on pins and needles to witness.
Far from it…..
He entered the world by way of an unmarried peasant mother. A father who was likely still a bit unsure, shell-shocked more likely, how his life had dramatically changed after a dream. Rather than the strictly scrubbed down doctor of the day, Jesus was welcomed by smelly cattle and other barnyard residents. He was not swaddled in a perfectly soft cashmere wrap, but rather old scraps of clothing covered with bits of itchy hay. He was visited by shepherds who had likely not bathed in weeks. Wise men who brought an array of richly scented gifts. And surrounded by two young parents who had not a clue the world-changing import their role in this special baby’s birth would come to play.
The first Christmas was a hodge-podge of uniquely beautiful roles, each playing a special part of a true story that would stand the test of time. It was an island-of-misfit-toys sort of perfect snow globe experience in a barnyard on the outskirts of the little town of Bethlehem.
My dishes will not match. My food will be non-traditional. Dessert will be an array of favored treats that defy any realm of traditional theme. Yet, the time spent together. The gifts exchanged. The laughter, the tears, the wonderment of changing times, but a solid reflection upon the original Christmas, will highlight our gathering.
Christmas doesn’t have to be perfectly matched and fashionably organized. The first Christmas showed us that magic can happen anywhere, anytime, in most any way. Memories can be made in any setting. If a dingy old barn could be the backdrop for the long-awaited birth of our Savior, my table can surely reflect a unique beauty of different in a world that often focuses on the same.