book-with-footWelcome to my home! Pull up a chair and let’s all admire my stunning Christmas décor- the fireplace I have adorned so artfully with an cracked Rubbermaid container labelled CHRISTMAS BOOKS AND BAGS, not to mention a wad of bubble-wrap with tape stuck to it and the soggy fake mouse Jack the cat likes to lick and leave in random places just to give me a heart attack.

Okay, so that’s it! Thanks for stopping by, and Merry Christmas!

I’m afraid I haven’t gotten very far on my decorating. Have you? I know it’s only the first week of December so there’s no reason to feel embarrassed. Besides, plenty of families will wait another week or two before venturing into the attic for boxes, right?

Before you ask if I’m related to Mr. Grinch, you should know that I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I do. I just can’t stand the thought of getting out all that STUFF-the nativity sets and ornaments and Santa’s and snowwomen- and bringing them into my messy house, my messy life. Can’t Christmas wait until my house is clean? Until I have time to get my head right and my home right? Until I get all my loose ends tied up?

Can’t I dust first and go through that stack of bills and junk mail I’ve got on the table? Mop the floors and figure out a better way to arrange the furniture? Maybe I’ll paint over that mystery mark by the front door because nothing says Christmas like a big greasy looking smudge on the wall at eye level. I could go on and on with my list, but you’d get bored and my mother would read this and make my daddy cart her down to South Carolina with a car load of Pine Sol and Swiffer dusters and Goo Gone and I’m sure he has other things to do.

Something seems wrong with this to me.

But my inner Martha Stewart can’t help thinking that Baby Jesus deserves a dust free place to set up shop in my house for December. I’d hate for my stables (and my root) and shepherds and wise guys to get lost in piles of newspaper, for my angels and donkeys to get assaulted by tumbleweeds of cat hair or knocked over by stray leaves blown in from the yard.

The devil’s advocate on my shoulder would probably argue that messes are exactly what Jesus was made for, sent for, and lived for. (Isn’t he a smart little devil?!) That makes sense to me.

Maybe I need to remind myself how Jesus came into this world: to an unwed couple with loose ends sticking out all over the place. That he made his entrance around people who weren’t ready and lived his whole life that way.

So why wait until everything’s perfect? Or just smudge free? Our messes are what he came for. Especially the messes we feel inside ourselves.

I think I’ll turn on the Christmas music and welcome him in, ready or not!

Merry Christmas to you!