Thanksgiving is over and gone, celebrated with family and high feasting and burgundy drinking and kids up before the sun to cross-country ski their fledgling legs across fields of diamond-white brilliance in the Vermont Green Mountain National Forest landscape. If ever a parents heart is full, it is when the offspring come in stomping snow, red-cheeked and puffing with eyes that twinkle, twinkle like little stars with so much alive-ness it’s pouring out their skin, they’ve just done something worth remembering forever. And the adults are sitting by the wood-burning stove in the farmhouse kitchen with hot drinks and bed-head-hair and slippers and all wrapped tight-up in robes of winter coziness. Just watching. It is enough, always, to see the young-ones exploring through the same things we–all four parents–did as kids and the aged-ones smile so wide behind steaming mugs for knowing deep the exact feeling that beats in their chests right now and it burns incandescent.
Thanksgiving? Oh, my God. Yes! And all this is Grace, Himself, on boundless platters.
The atmosphere glows gentle with a hundred and more tiny sparkle lights on our Charlie Brown evergreen tree and all the spirit-atoms within go hush, hush for the sweet Bethlehem Baby. A Baby that I’ve never wanted to hold so bad and we all take Him in our arms tonight with our sacraments and remembering. We take Him in our arms and clutch Him close again, tis the season for new-skin smell and Baby-breath fanning and for swaying around the living room with flesh-palms caressing a soft, downy, Divine-head. Even the three rowdy-ones know the space around them has shifted to temperature still as we light the candle of Preparation on a Sunday and supplicate for the deep hope of softening our Christmas hearts: ” Come, Thou most welcome One . . . prepare our human-temples to be a place where You can rest Your holy head this Christmas season . . . We don’t care what You do within us or with-out us, just make it matter in the Manger Kingdom . . .”
And if ever the air is pregnant, it’s the Advent air – 9 months, pre-labor big with the memory of Something so great, it can only come in the package-size of an infant.
How, dear friends, was your Thanksgiving?
And, if you have a moment . . . what are some of your Advent and Christmas practices and sacraments?