christmas photoToday, I was scrolling Facebook when I saw one of those e-card postings. It said this, “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring, except the mother, who was busting butt to make sure everything is perfect for everybody.”

And all the mothers shout a resounding, “AMEN!”

I know, I know, dads work hard also. My husband always pitches in to help me make Christmas magical for all three of our children, even the grown up twenty-two year old. And this year he is helping even more than the norm. I’ll tell you why…

It’s common for me to run like crazy this time of year. I direct an elementary Christmas choir and put on two productions with close to 90 children. On top of that, I direct the children’s choir for our church. I’m not complaining. I really do enjoy it, but I need to paint the picture of my life so that you can get a feel for my perfectly imperfect Christmas story.

Working with children can leave a person susceptible to every illness that comes down the pike. I try to combat the germs with vitamin C and a mix of other great wellness sources, however, this year nothing worked. I finally just kicked a case of bronchitis in the behind after close to six weeks of coughing and no voice. And let me tell you, no voice for a teacher, public speaker, and singer is a nightmare!

I was 100% well just in time to direct the elementary school musicals. In the mean time, I was decorating, shopping, baking, and wrapping like a crazy person, determined to enjoy this Christmas. For me, enjoying Christmas means checking tasks off the list so the stress stays away.

Last weekend, just in time for the church production, I woke up with a bad cold. I fought my way through rehearsals and the performance. Afterwards, I was looking forward to a couple days of rest before the final push for a perfect and magical Christmas. Except the coughing started, then the fever, and then the tantrum and lamenting to Jesus because after all, why wouldn’t He just wave the wand and heal me for His birthday celebration?!?!?! (By the way, that’s just a little sarcasm.) Or maybe it isn’t…

So fast forward a few days to Christmas Eve morning. (Which is today.) I woke up in a daze with the familiar pain in my chest and wheezing sound from my lungs. Off to the doctor I went where I was promptly diagnosed, once again, with acute bronchitis and an upper respiratory infection. I was given strong antibiotics, instructions to go home straight to bed, drink lots of fluids and if needed, spike my eggnog with codeine cough syrup.

And did I mention my entire family: siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins are coming to my home for Christmas Eve dinner? Yeah, that too!

At first I cried. And not just the tears with no sound kind of crying, I’m talking the full out wailing, arms flailing, ugly cry. Of course all of this was done with hacking and coughing up phlegm in between. (I really hope you’re not eating any Christmas cookies right now. If so, I’m deeply sorry.)

My mother is now in the kitchen cooking a huge Italian Christmas Eve feast all by herself. My husband and oldest son are straightening up the house, and my six-year-old-twins are cleaning their playroom. And me, well, I’m in bed writing to you.

When I walked downstairs a little while ago to check everyone’s progress, I looked around and noticed how I usually do things a little different. It made me sad, but not as sad as watching my family work on Christmas Eve day. I mean, really. That’s my job, right???

And here is the lesson learned… Yep, I know, you’ve been waiting for the positive spin!

Everyone in my home might have a little more sweat on their brow this year, but we are here together…

The only difficulty I was expecting to face this Christmas was learning to live without Dominic. And it hasn’t been easy, but if this recent case of bronchitis has shown me anything today, it has spotlighted that family works together and heals together. From grief and loss, to silly sicknesses, and an over controlling mama who usually stresses about the table being set to her definition of perfect, (Um, that would be me.) we are figuring it all out together. We are working though the toughest issues all the way to what my oldest son refers to as “first world problems,” which means they aren’t real problems at all.

We are together. And we are strong.

Here’s why…

  • Jesus was born for us.
  • Jesus died for us.
  • Jesus rose from the dead for us.
  • Jesus is alive and well.


Life is a gift, given by the Savior Himself. Regardless of what your Christmas looks like, no matter what bumps in the road, or sinkholes you might be facing, allow your Christmas to be perfectly imperfect. Let it shine as glorious praise unto the living One who breathed life for us all.

For. Us. ALL.

Have a perfectly imperfect Christmas, my sweet friends. And enjoy every minute of it!

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

-1 John 5:20


Merry Christmas!








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