The gifts are all opened and placed back in their box.
The paper and the bows have all been tossed.
The carols have been sung and the cookie tray is starting to look bare.
We’ve marveled at the lights, the Santas and the Snowmen.
We’ve wished our neighbors and our friends Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
We’ve gone to church and listened to the story of Christmas thoughtfully told again.
The dinner has been cooked with love and eaten with pleasure by family and friends.
The house is now quiet and the guests have all gone home.
The sky is clear and the stars are bright in gentle tribute to a baby born thousands of years ago on this very night.
I hope that I’ve grown as a person this past year and learned to care more for others.
I hope that I’ve done something that made a difference and nothing to cause pain.
I stand looking into the sky and wondering how it must have looked that night as a baby lay in a manger sharing the stable with the animals who lived there.
Soon the day will be over and we’ll fall exhausted to bed.
Soon we’ll start to think about our resolutions for the coming year: how we’ll lose weight and quit smoking and stop drinking and all of the other things that we need to change.
Soon it’ll be 2009 and I can’t help but wonder what the new year will bring but find comfort in the constant: that next year we’ll celebrate the birth of Jesus again.