One of my fondest Christmas memories is one that, at the time, seemed like a complete disaster. My mom was down with the flu and could hardly get out of bed, much less make the holiday meal she was planning to make. My dad, a pastor, had a funeral the morning of Christmas Eve, besides two evening services, and didn’t have time to make anything for us either. So after the funeral, we ended up at Taco Bell for our Christmas Eve dinner, my dad wearing his clerical collar and my brothers and I in our play clothes. We still joke about that Christmas, and how people must have thought my dad was a priest taking some underprivileged urchins out for a “gourmet” meal on Christmas Eve. At the time, we kids complained, but now we laugh about it and retell the story every Christmas. That Christmas was hardly perfect by outward standards, but for that matter, neither was the first Christmas. An unfamiliar town? A stable? Dirty, smelly shepherds? I’m sure Mary would much rather have been at home in Nazareth, surrounded by her mother and family for the birth of her baby. But that was the way God chose to send His Son into the world, and it was absolutely perfect.