“I don’t care if the house is packed,
Or the strings of light are broken.
I don’t care if the gifts are wrapped,
Or there’s nothing here to open.
Love is not a toy, and no paper will conceal it.
Love is simply joy that I’m home.
I don’t care if the carpet's stained,
We've got food upon our table.
I don’t care if it’s gonna rain,
Our little room is warm and stable.
Love is who we are, and no season can contain it.
Love would never fall for that.
Let love lead us, love is Christmas.
Why so scared that you’ll mess it up,
When perfection keeps you haunted?
All we need is your best my love,
That’s all anyone ever wanted.
Love is how we do, let no judgment overrule it.
Love I look to you, and I sing...
Let love lead us, love is Christmas”
My friend Jessi McKinnon with her husband Brandon and our friends Brad and Caity were going to perform this song with me live on December 4th but because of the rising numbers of COVID19 we decided to forgo our plans. The song was a part of a set of songs that aren’t your traditional standards for the Christmas season: “White Winter Hymnal”, “Winter Song”, and “Love is Christmas”. Did you notice that preceding “Love is Christmas” would have been another Sara Bareilles song called “Winter Song”? Written in the mournful key of Bb minor, the singer grieves over a loved one that’s far away, unable to be close to her during the lonely winter months, “This is my winter song. December never felt so wrong, ‘cause you’re not where you belong; inside my arms.” In the midst of this sentiment, the line “Is love alive?” is reiterated over and over throughout the song as if she’s waiting for the answer she wants to hear but only hears the negative. I imagine she hears a faceless voice answering, “No, love is dead and nowhere to be found” but she believes the opposite, “NO, love IS alive. I know it”. The song ends with her continuing to ask “Is love alive?”.
If we concluded our song set with that question, it would have been a dismissal ending to a performance meant to uplift the spirit. So, we decided to answer her question with “yes, love is alive. Love is Christmas.” Although love seems to be gone and we’re in for a long run of darkness and isolation, Love is here with us. We may be in a time of grieving in our lives, having lost the ability to mill around in your favorite restaurant, have a drink with our friends at the local pub, or gleefully shop for Christmas gifts at the outlet mall, but that doesn’t mean love is unattainable. It doesn’t mean that we can’t find joy, hope, and goodness in our homes. We can soothe our aching hearts knowing that although our lives may be different it doesn’t change our value and our love for one another. “I don’t care if the house is packed, or the strings of light are broken. I don’t care if the gifts are wrapped, or there’s nothing here to open. Love is not a toy, and no paper will conceal it. Love is simply joy that I’m home.” Love is simply joy that I’m home.
Will you pray with me…
“God, I’m so glad that love can be found right here in my home. Keep my eyes open to see your love everywhere around me. Give me the grace to grieve what I’ve lost, and give me wisdom to know that’s not the end. Amen.
To the Writers
of this devotional: