Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 1

"There Is a Star"
performed by The BYU Combined Choirs and Orchestra
lyrics by 19th Century minister Joseph Martin

It's the First of December!

Welcome, one and all, to the sixth season of the Musical Advent Calendar here at "I Can Fly, Just Not Up"!

I hope that you'll find our musical selections in celebration of the Christmas Season to be a restful interlude from all the hustle and bustle leading up to the Big Day.

It's sad but true that the "busy-ness of life" makes it necessary that we remember to schedule a little time for ourselves every once in awhile.

It's not easy.  Trust me, I get it.

My regular readers know that I'm a mother to three rapidly growing girls, juggling a career as a teacher with a side-gig at a knitting store.  If I'm not tap-dancing as fast as I can at the front of a classroom, or helping to facilitate other peoples' yarn habits, it's a pretty safe bet that my rear-end is firmly glued to the driver's seat of the New Blue Loser Cruiser.

We are ALWAYS on the go; rarely at home.

I confess, I AM THAT WOMAN standing in the grocery line knitting a sock while I wait, usually during the five-o'clock arsenic hour, while the kids are engaged in various extra-curricular activities...  Yes, I am that obsessed with not wasting a single moment of my waking hours.



"You're a long time dead," my Grandmother used to say.

THAT'S when I'll catch up on my sleep.

But Christmas...

That's a whole other level of stress, altogether.  Talk about having to try to be all things, to all people.

We mothers of the world MAKE Christmas.  We INVENTED it.  The Holy Mother herself did the best she could for her family, under the circumstances in which she found herself, that first Christmas Eve.

At this time of year, my gift to you, from one busy person to another, is this:

A golden opportunity every day, from now until December 25, to sit down and rest.  Just BE.  Don't do anything, don't cook anything, don't wrap anything.  Put your feet up, and close your eyes.  NO mental list-making!!  And no worrying.

Just listen.

Christmas is coming, whether we attend to all that racket out there or not.  It doesn't have to be a perfect, grand production.  In fact, it's often more memorable if it isn't.

I'm casting my mind back, now, to several years ago when I was expecting 13 for Christmas Eve Dinner. The brand new dining set had all arrived, EXCEPT FOR THE TABLE'S FOUR LEGS.  I seriously considered throwing the linen on the floor, nipping out to the Dollar Store for chopsticks, and serving everything Japanese-style.  My main concern, however, was that if, even by some miracle, I managed to get the majority of the adults comfortable on their knees...  would they ever be able to get back UP?!

Happily, the crisis was averted literally minutes before my guests all arrived.  The table legs had been found by the delivery company in another van, in another town.  The owner himself, along with his two sons, made the long trek back to our place and finished assembling the furniture, on an evening when they all should have been in their own homes, celebrating with their own families.

I was so grateful, I packaged up and gave them the three big tins of Scottish shortbread I had cranked out in preparation for my company's arrival.

We may have been shortbread-less that Christmas Eve, but we were all able to gather around our table.

Those three guys didn't HAVE to search high-and-low, and then come back with those table legs that night...  they could easily have just gone home.  I would have understood if they had-- two of them had young children of their own.

They didn't just practice good business that day.  They re-affirmed my belief in the goodness of human beings:  that doing what's right and what's kind is more important than doing what's easy.

And that right there, folks, is the true essence of the Christmas spirit.

Sometimes we just need to calm ourselves and slow down a little bit to realize that it's here with us, all the time.  It's all around us.

We just need a good excuse to stop, to look around, and notice.

The music here every day will be your excuse to do just that.


1 comment:

Nan Sheppard said...

I love your giving the shortbread away! I did similar when we left a suitcase of presents on a train in Southampton, on our way to Gatwick airport. The station master moved heaven and earth to get the guards at the next station to stop the train and get our case off. Reunited with our luggage, the boys and I made it to the airport in time. Needless to say, our other luggage ended up several pounds of chocolate truffles lighter!!

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