You may still have preparations left for Christmas, but trust in the truth that the best, most memorable Christmas days aren’t the “perfect” ones. They’re the ones when we’re relaxed, well-rested, enjoying the company in our midst, and laughing at the mess around us.

Treat yourself to some poetry. Take a breath, and let this be a moment of quiet for you before the family gatherings, Christmas Eve services, and onslaught of extended families begins.

This is a gem by Madeleine L’Engle, one of my favorites. The world was not ready, indeed.

First Coming

He did not wait till the world was ready,
till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
and prisoners cried out for release.

He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine. He did not wait

till hearts were pure. In joy he came
to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.

He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.

We cannot wait till the world is sane
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!

-Madeleine L’Engle, from The Ordering of Love: The New and Collected Poems of Madeleine L’Engle