It starts around…oh…October 25th, 26th, or thereabouts. A trio of birthdays, then Halloween and Eliza’s birthday, then Tim’s. Then Thanksgiving and the wild, wooly full-on race to Christmas.
Every year I swear I will SLOW IT DOWN and sit for a minute, quiet.
In reverence. Experiencing Advent, full and in bloom.
But there is so much to be done! The prep, the parties, the shopping wrapping giving. Endless cooking (and cleaning). All those sweets.
Hugs and giggles and good, good cheer.
I am reminded, once again, of my mother’s year-after-year petition (at which I inevitably rolled my eyes, and at which–I am sure–my daughter does now): Hurry up and get here so Christmas can begin.
Finally she did, and Colleen, and Preston and Ellie the dog, and we lit candles at church, and we sang Silent Night, and we got home to a house filled with happy and love and joy. And there were cocktails and holiday snacks and a rousing game of Train Dominoes. We laughed, and laughed and laughed.
Then the stockings came down, and the lights went out, and there in the dark I thought of the many gracious blessings brought on by this holy night. I gave deep, heart-filled thanks.
And I thought of people everywhere who at the very same moment are hurting or afraid or alone, and I thought how, to so many, this season is overwhelming in a different way. How it must magnify pain, how it must bring sadness into clearer focus. I held them close, and I prayed.
I named those I know, and I prayed.
And I closed my eyes, and slept, and morning came, in light.
The promise fulfilled.
Once again, the promise fulfilled.