While I listened to the song “Away in a Manger”, it occurred to me that even though the song is lovely, the setting was probably not what Mary had in mind.
I’m sure she would have preferred to stay home, instead of traveling by donkey at nine months pregnant.
She would have wanted to be in her own room, instead of going from house to house and finding no place.
She would have rather not had barn animals for company.
If your Christmas has no chance of becoming what you wanted, if you’re concerned about money, if you’re afraid your family will be disappointed…
If this year won’t be the same as last year, or you’re carrying the burden for other people’s holiday happiness…
The ideas we have of the perfect Christmas, favorite foods, the perfect gift, and a full stocking didn’t come from that first Christmas. But somehow, it was those unwanted circumstances that made the hope and beauty of the miracle even more evident.