Small One nestles in my arms these Christmas evenings as we spend the last hours of his day cuddled on the couch, surrounded by glowing lights and listening to Christmas music. It’s my attempt to get some touch time with my now scrambling-everywhere little son. I’m not sure at what point my cuddly baby become an active boy. It happened in the past seven months, and a part of my mom heart is already breaking and it breaks a little bit more when I think about the long future we hopefully will have together as he grows from baby to boy to man.

Last Advent I was full of meditations about the coming of Jesus, and this one I have been full of Small One with a few small moments to catch my breath and think. It’s a different time, a different season. There has been too much inside to share in the past six months. I have been enjoying my little one and the sweetness of this stage of our life together.

Don’t get the wrong idea. He’s not cuddling close to me on these winter evenings watching me with glowing eyes. He sits in my lap with a few toys, ferociously going at them with his hands and mouth, his big eyes watching, watching, watching, studying everything and trying to figure out how this toy is working, and eventually when he is bored, he starts hitting it and squirming around. He throws himself against the couch, tries to pull up on the too-soft cushions, cries with frustration until I help him to his feet. Every now and then, he does turn around and look at me with a small smile on his face.

Me? I’m listening to Christmas music and crying into the back of Small One’s head, songs about the baby Jesus as I wonder how he could have been a baby, and did his mother cry as her baby became a boy who became a man?

Fragile fingers sent to heal us… tender brow prepared for thorns… tiny heart whose blood will save us… unto us is born.

Unto us a son was born. Unto us a child was given. People say that babies change everything, that you will never love someone like you love your own child and that you will never sleep again. I can hardly say that the transition to having a small one for me was the life-altering moment that people make it out to be. In many ways it has been the easiest of all the life transitions I have endured (and I do like to think of myself and my family as perennial life-transitioners). There are no answers for this only that somehow this small one was perfect for me, perfect for this time, perfect for my arms and my heart. He has been perfect to hold inside of me.

This is the small bridge for me to Jesus in this season of busyness of heart and spirit, in this time when the time isn’t always there to open my Bible or to breathe, but he is here in the work, he is here in the cooking, he is here in the playing and in the night waking. He is here, and as my heart grows to hold my Small One, Jesus is holding me, His small one.

And so for you, this Christmas season, here’s a little winter warmer that kept Husband and I cozy during one of our Christmas Cheer evenings. It’s apple cider with a warm twist.

  • Christmas Cheer   apple juice (I used the unfiltered kind and think it’s better), cinnamon sticks, a few cloves, a few cardamoms, ginger powder (grated ginger would probably be better), a dash of maple syrup for sweetness and whiskey for warmth. For a liter of apple juice, I used two cinnamon sticks, five cloves and four or five cardamoms. I would grate a one centimeter piece of ginger into it in the future. The maple syrup is up to you based on how sweet you want it to be, and the quantity of whiskey is also up to you depending on how…warm… you want it to be.