Christmas Wishes, and a Christmas Poem (Cheese Not Included)

1

December 23, 2012 by Julia

I am at that point, post Christmas-prep, where I feel ready to hibernate. I could sleep for a week. We’ve been supersocial, we’ve done the activities we’re supposed to do, we’ve listened to the music and watched the movies and read the books. I am tired and a bit numb; not in a terrible place, but still wishing for a deeper experience, now that we are so close. Trying to shake off that “let’s get through this” feeling I have sometimes before a big event, even as I look forward to it.

I think it’s family time only, from here on out. Tomorrow night will be our “Christmas Eve,” and in the morning we’ll have our little celebration before heading out to visit with both sides of the family, who live nearby. It’s time to hunker down and focus, now. It’s time to light a candle and gaze at the children.

So, my Christmas wishes:

1. I wish to feel grace down to my bones.

2. I wish to relax, and breathe, and stop seeing work everywhere. (See above.)

3. I wish to have fun – real, giddy fun – as we open presents.

4. I wish that my family will love their gifts.

5. I wish to feel a sacred communion in church on Christmas Eve, as we raise our candles in the air and sing.

6. I hope to let meltdowns and messes roll right off my back. Christmas is just another day, and there will be more Christmases, anyway. We’ll look back and laugh at the screw-ups at some point.

7. I wish to be kind and patient to myself so that I am more able to be kind and patient with the kids.

8. I wish to gather moments into my soul, to record them with photos and writing and video, while still being present.

9. I wish to see the beauty, up close and vital.

10. I wish to offer magic to my kids, in the lights and the carols and the stories and anticipation, in the nativity scene that holds a starlit, vulnerable, textured wonder.

11. I wish to find the light in the darkest, coldest time of year.

I’ve been craving poetry lately. I’m not the best poet, myself, so I have to hunt for it. This one by Anne Porter is nearly perfect for Christmas.

Noel

by Anne Porter,from Living Things. © Zoland Books, 2006

When snow is shaken

From the balsam trees

And they’re cut down

And brought into our houses

 

When clustered sparks

Of many-colored fire

Appear at night

In ordinary windows

 

We hear and sing

The customary carols

 

They bring us ragged miracles

And hay and candles

And flowering weeds of poetry

That are loved all the more

Because they are so common

 

But there are carols

That carry phrases

Of the haunting music

Of the other world

A music wild and dangerous

As a prophet’s message

 

Or the fresh truth of children

Who though they come to us

From our own bodies

Are altogether new

With their small limbs

And birdlike voices

 

They look at us

With their clear eyes

And ask the piercing questions

God alone can answer.

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