Just show up

This morning at Christmas Mass, I had the thought that Jesus had it pretty easy the first Christmas.

When the priest talked about how the stress and preparations of Christmas can get in the way of experiencing the holiday, I felt a frisson of stress. The gift-buying, the card-sending, the planning, the hurried knitting at the end (I never finish it all in time — “never” being “for the last three years I’ve felt capable of knitting a gift”) and the meal-planning.

That’s when I thought, Jesus had it easy. All he had to do was just show up, and that was enough for everyone.

I got a sense then of the joy of someone “just showing up.” Someone you really wanted to see, someone you’ve missed, someone you just love being with.

Isn’t there someone you love so much that you’d welcome them into your home, thrilled, and all they’d have done was “just show up”? Not received from obligation; no glance at their hands to see if they’re carrying a package. You’d just open the door wide, beaming, and welcome them inside, not even wait for them to take off their coat before you were hugging them and telling them how glad you were that they were there? Because just being with you was enough?

Yeah. I liked that idea.

And I turned it around: maybe God feels that way about us. Maybe there are times we work out in our heads what gifts we have to bring to God to make it more palatable for Him to allow us inside, when really, all we’d have to do is ring the doorbell. Maybe God would fling open the door and welcome us inside, hug us, hustle us over to the couch, and sit next to us saying, “I’m so, so glad you’re here!”

Peace to all, and to those who celebrate it, have a holy and blessed Christmas.


  1. Normandie

    Jane, Merry Christmas. I love your post, because that’s exactly the sort of holiday we’ve been trying to create for years. And what a lovely thought that Jesus requires only that we come, eager to see Him.

    Thank you.

  2. Jan Satterlee

    Hi Jane, may I offer you a somewhat belated Merry Christmas. I’m the JannyM that you’ve been offering kind advice to at Query Tracker (I call it how to write an ass-kicking query one-o-one). I just wanted to thank you kindly for your awesome critiques.

  3. lexcade

    jane, that made me tear up. such a sweet thought. and i’m sure you’re right.

    hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas!

  4. Victoria

    This happened for me this Christmas. My older brother walked in, unannounced, Christmas morning and surprised both me and my parents. It was wonderful.