This is the week when Christmas comes,
Let every pudding burst with plums,
And every tree bear dolls and drums,
In the week when Christmas comes.
~~ from "In the Week When Christmas Comes," by Eleanor Farjeon
The gift of the longest-possible Advent: a whole week for it to be The Week When Christmas Comes.
Yes, we have snow--plenty of it, unlike last Christmas. Lydia's school was even closed one day because of bad weather.
Yes, we have decorations. It's not looking too bad.
Yes, we have things to make cookies with, although nobody's done any baking because Mama Squirrel and Mr. Fixit have been down with colds and didn't want to "share the love."
But it's still too easy to focus on what isn't, what we'd rather have, what we could have done. I think everyone has some mental version of Dickens that comes to visit over holidays..It might be just a scrap of something missing, or a major discontentment, or outright grief. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or not at today's rather blunt Vivienne Files post. Under the portrait of a glum-looking woman painted by Chagall, Janice adds this note: "She's NOT Feeling Christmassy... Some years, you just don't..." Is it a coincidence that the imagined character's "accent colour" is a somewhat Grinchy green?
Then I read Brenda's post "Beauty With or Without an Audience," and things made more sense. If beauty is important, then we need to make beauty, even if it goes largely unseen. Even if those who do see it rush past (like the legendary crowd in the subway who didn't stop to hear the famous violinist, although you can read the true version of that here, since we try not to do Tonypandy at the Treehouse). Sometimes we make the extra effort simply as an act of faith.
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