"No!” I said as Angie, my coworker approached. She didn’t have to say a word. It was evident by the clear bowl in her hand what she wanted. She opened her mouth to speak but again I said, “No!” I raised one hand to let her know just how serious I was about the answer to the question which she hadn’t even asked.Read More
Trimming the tree was a Christmas Eve ritual
in my family.
Each year my cousin would come to help my mum.
They would carefully take the glass baubles from the box
that used to hold her big doll called Topsy.
Then they would put them all in their special place
in my family.
My water broke as I climbed out of bed on Christmas morning. I'd stayed up late the previous evening, listening to a reading of Dylan Thomas' “A Child's Christmas in Wales” on the radio. Afterward, I lumbered to bed and collapsed onto the mattress like a sinking ship. Less than six hours later, I was suddenly in labor with my first child.Read More
me to buy a
new tree. Buy 8
sets of LED lights,
buy shopping carts full
of ornaments, some glass,
some plastic, for the little ones
to pull and throw.
Christmas, a time for connecting with old friends. In the week between Christmas and New Years Eve, people consider the age-old tradition of setting New Years resolutions. Already I’ve seen countless memes wishing the end of 2016 away as the year to forget. When we look back at 2016, we remember endless months of campaigning commercials; the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series after 108 years, Brexit from the EU, Samsung’s misstep with the explosive Note 7. But even more than that, remember the good stuff…and good stuff in 2016 exists. Like my beautiful niece’s first birthday party, laughs shared with coworkers, parties with friends, and the first date that led to a relationship.Read More
I want to tell you about the time my sister, my mother, and I followed the desire of my sister’s heart. We went into the clock store at the mall. My sister went first when the idea came to her. She found the grandfather clock she believed would fit grandma’s house best—the one she thought grandma would want.Read More
I resent Christmas more and more the older I get. It’s a combination of my lack of religion, my extreme laziness and my crippling anxiety. I stress myself out to the point of hyperventilation over how much money I’m going to spend (how many years can I skate by on homemade gifts before it becomes tacky?), what to get people (is it appropriate to just give someone a Target gift card if you’ve known them for over 10 years?), and about how I’m going to get it for them (do I shop online and hope that it ships in time, or do I brave the masses of the screaming kids and sweaty people at the mall?). Once I’ve got the gifts in hand, I look forward to the feeling of sweet, sweet relief that I get when I’ve handed them off, although I really don’t start to feel remotely relaxed until after the new year.Read More
When I was young, I used to make these yarn dolls for our Christmas tree.
I’m not sure where I learned how to make them, but I used to wrap red and green yarn around my paperback copy of Little House on the Prairie. There was no significance to that book; it was just the right size.Read More
My Holiday story is not much of a story, but rather a reflection. There has been so much happening in the world this holiday season that I’ve gotten preoccupied. I’ve been busy with a new job, distracted with freelance work, and worse, I can’t seem to stop worrying about the world. I don’t go to church much but that doesn’t mean anything. I don’t say that because I studied theology or because I have a startling amount of pastor friends. I say it because there have been very few times that I have felt whole and alive and connected in church. It usually happens somewhere else. Usually in a lecture, or in a verse of poetry. There is a moment where I feel wholly alive and the world seems bright, and hopeful. Once or twice that has happened in the dark sweet stillness of a church, as well. But normally—usually—I feel the most connected when I am going about my daily life.Read More
My feelings towards the Holidays have morphed dramatically over the years. Like most people, I often feel a whirlwind of shifting emotions sometimes in a matter of minutes. The holidays can trigger anxiety and fear, love and joy, even pain, grief, and guilt.Read More
I LOVE the season of Advent. Always have. There is something exciting and hopeful about looking forward to replaying Christ’s birth in the Christian liturgical year. I like it so much more than the season of Lent, which anticipates the Easter narrative of Christ’s death and resurrection. To me, all the violence and death is not much to look forward to. Plus we deal with those realities in life everyday so I just don’t care as much about Easter or find Christ’s death and resurrection as helpful as I do God’s incarnation in the Christmas story. Some Christians may think I’m off my rocker for claiming that the incarnation is more meaningful or helpful than the death/resurrection but hear me out.Read More
Crystal lights, glittering evergreens capped in dazzling, pointy stars: when Christmas peeks around the corner, dreams meet the world below.Read More