Thankfully, I have my own snowflakes—looking quite wintery tied to the metal security rail across my window. They were a furlough purchase at a dollar store. They don’t ever melt.
I live in Indonesia, so Christmas time is, well, a bit different here. The regular Christmasy-type traditions just aren’t the same. I have no plans to hop in my car one night with my kiddos and hubby to look at Christmas lights. If I did, I wouldn’t get past my own driveway since my Muslim and Buddhist neighbors aren’t quite as into the twinkly Christmas spirit as I am.
I choose to bake all the traditional cookies, though I forgot to chill the sugar cookie dough first. They are looking quite appropriate for the heat—all spread out and bloated, their edges not as sharp as they should be. Really, that’s a pretty good description for me, as I stand, dripping and swelling as I stir and frost.
I decided to start baking early this year, enlisting some of my Indonesian friends to help me little by little each week. Sounded like a good way to prevent the cooking chaos of those last few days before Christmas. Problem is, my family eats most of the cookies I make as we go. The other problem is, here in Indonesia, I don’t have months of sweater-wearing weather to hide December’s indulgences.
Perhaps I sound like I’m complaining. But I’m just describing. Really, I am grateful to live in a place where the feel-good traditions that are fun, but have little to do with the gem of Christmas are washed away. What is left is a diamond that lasts after the presents are opened when the sinking feeling of ordinary life returns. I am thankful that I get to be part of sharing the Hope of Christmas by serving in a far-off land to demonstrate the reality of a close-by Lord. And I am humbled to be loved by a Savior who gave up much more than a white Christmas to offer life to this messed-up sinner.
Will you join me here as I sit in the presence of the Spirit of Christmas?