We have a family Christmas tradition that just played out last night: A Muppet Family Christmas movie night with our eleven children, garnished with a truckload of popcorn. This year my husband made an interesting comment: "This is what started it all!" I asked him to clarify. He said that a visit overseas to his Irish relatives, who had fourteen children, had peaked his interest in being open to a large family, but A Muppet Family Christmas had sealed the icy patch at the front door!
Odd as it may seem, he loved the spirit of hospitality Fozzie Bear's mother exhibited as each new muppet unexpectedly arrived. It got me thinking... the man has a point.
Fozzie's mother had made plans - good plans! Plans that included sunshine, a beach, and fun. But then her son popped up, completely surprising her and she had to change her good plans for something more important: family. Although she was briefly disappointed (the poor bear had taken three months of surfing lessons), she soon exclaimed, "There's plenty of room for everybody!" And really, when someone shows up unexpectedly (perhaps as a little plus sign or two lines on a pregnancy test), it's a good thing to think of them as a surprise blessing, rather than a burden or a hindrance to our plans.
The spirit of the Christmas special is warm-hearted, openness to all. No one seems to mind making sacrifices to allow for the incessant flow of new arrivals. A few critters camp out in the attic, some literally hang out on hangers, others are assigned to the bathtub, and bunk beds are built in the broom closet (brought to you by the letter B). Somehow there's always room for one more.
One of my favorite parts is when Doc, from Fraggle Rock, offers to go out into a blizzard to search for one member who's having trouble arriving for Christmas (Miss Piggy) and Kermit the Frog is touched by the offer:
Kermit: But you've never even met...
Doc: We never met any of you all a little while ago, and now we're friends. Sprocket and I were going to spend Christmas alone, but this is better.
I adore my husband's willingness to offer himself and make sacrifices to allow for new members to join our family - such an openness to those he hasn't even met yet. He's right, there's always room for more... and Doc's right, we could have ventured through life alone, but this is better.
I also love how this concept can spread to those who reach out to the homeless, visit the sick, and welcome new members through fostering and/or adoption. We were not made to live for ourselves, but to open our hearts to others and Advent is the perfect time to reflect on this.
Wishing you all a blessed season of Advent!
Let it snow, Darling! Let it Reindeer! Careful of the icy patch!!!
Wocka, wocka, wocka!