It started at the cousin’s school with a live nativity that included lavish costumes and a camel wrangler. There were african american angels wearing tinsel halos and an impossibly young girl holding a baby Jesus doll. And there was an aura of holy over the whole works, because the original cast of characters was surely as improbable as this one, Mary just far too young and innocent, shepherds who could not really begin to grasp the significance of what they were seeing, kings who came to worship in silence and awe. The crazy cast all pulled together perfectly by the ultimate playmaker who watched over all and must surely have bent double in emotion as he watched the unfolding of his plan.
It started for us with a live nativity that we barely squeezed into a crazy week dotted with cookie exchanges and holiday parties. Barely squeezed and almost missed.
It bloomed in our hearts what had been started with our hands for weeks, the wrapping and decorating and cookie making and errand running. Christmas started with our hands, but this night was all about our hearts and standing quietly, breath forming clouds as we watched a listened to the story.
It started with the remembering that nothing we do for Christmas, nothing we buy or make or give, matters more than this: Christ is born. It started with a baby. Christ is born.
This is me being real. In awe of Christ being born. Just totally starry-eyed, can’t make sense of it, in awe.