Christmas is almost upon us. The tree is up and decorated. The Nativity scene is set up and the three wise men and their faithful companion the wise bear are traveling.
Oh, you haven’t heard of the wise bear? He’s a distant relative of the bears in 2 Kings 2: 23-24 , a faithful companion to the wise men and the one who ate the little drummer boy for disturbing Mary’s rest with his drum solo. Okay, so my sense of humor is a little twisted but there is a point somewhere in all of this.

I started this season with big plans and great intentions. Normally, I decorate to a level that would make Clark Griswold proud and this year was to be no different. I had updates to the website planned and blog posts outlined with a regular timeline scheduled. I even had a timeline laid out mentally for cleaning,decorating, shopping , displaying my 40+ Santa’s and other festive activities along with preparing for and setting up at various Christmas markets.

But, things don’t always go as planned. I found myself busy taking care of family, busy with church commitments and then illness spread through our house like wildfire where we all took turns being ill. And to top it off, I ( just like everyone else in Southeast Texas), have been preparing for an arctic blast that is coming just before Christmas bringing with it temperatures in the teens. And, like most in the area, I have been rather anxious about what we will face, especially after what we all experienced with the “Snowpocalypse” of February of 2021 where most lost power for days and many suffered broken water pipes and other calamities.
I find myself constantly reassuring myself with St. Padre Pio’s famous quote’” Pray, hope and don’t worry”.

I have really begun to appreciate all of the mothers out there even more trying to balance everything this time of year. Between taking care of their families, their homes, preparing meals and for Christmas along with whatever outside jobs and commitments they may have , they’re in need of a rest. They need a wise bear to come and eat their detractors and distractions.

Yet, despite all of the distractions and my grand plans not coming to fruition, I’m finding this becoming a more fruitful and rewarding Advent and Christmas.

Instead of decorating, I have spent more time at church. Instead of planning, I have spent more time praying. Instead of busy work, I have spent a little more time resting ( partly due to my body forcing me to) and meditating on what is more important. Meditating on the small and simple, namely a small child born to a young girl in a simple stable. A child that would be “called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”.

A child who would be the Messiah of all and his sacrifice foreshadowed by the three wise men and their gifts. Gold representing his royalty, Frankincense hid divinity and Myrrh his death of the cross for our sins.

And as Mary was needing rest after her journey and labor, so do we all. Not just in the physical sense but mentally and spiritually. A rest that only the child in Mary’s arms can provide.

“Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” ~ Matthew 11:28

So, as we all try our best to prepare and enjoy this Christmas, let us take time to rest and to focus on that small child in Our Blessed Mother’s arms that would one day be the sacrificial lamb for us all.

And if it takes a wise bear to help out, so be it.

But, what do I know… I’m just a simple rosary maker