This is the first year that the boys haven't done an advent calendar in the evening with me. (They're just too old, I guess.) We used to read from a darling book (translated from the German) about a little bear on a journey to follow a bright star he's seen. On the way, he meets all sorts of characters ~ he meets a blind man, a giant, a man in red, a thief, a lamb.... all finding their way, one way or another, to where the star is leading them which is, of course, the manger on Christmas Eve. Then, we would open a door in an advent calendar (This one was my favorite and we would use it almost every year.) Each door would open and we would find something very, very simple - a candy cane, a little musical instrument, a Christmas Tree, an angel - and each tiny illustration would be so exquisite and magical!! Just magical! And, here, I couldn't tell you why it was so absolutely enthralling to open those little doors but, I do know that part of the charm was with how miniature each item was.
I get that same magical feeling from my mom's miniature doll house, from snow globes and from the drawings around an illustration by Tasha Tudor. Somehow, how tiny they are holds a certain magic and amazement for me!
I was talking with a friend at church, this morning, and she's been thinking the same thing that I have... "how has it come to this?" We've been thinking about Dicken's Christmas Carol and considering how different and contained the holiday seems to have been then as opposed to now! Well, it's easy to look back on 'olden days' and think it was all simple and innocent but if we think that about Dicken's London, then, we weren't paying attention at all. But, I think that you can get what I'm driving at about a simpler, more contained Christmas
And this is the point where I wonder if anyone's visiting this blog and, if they are, are they even reading along. ;) I wonder if I sound like I'm a special basket case to be talking about 'surviving Christmas' so much? I spoke about Santa, yesterday, and the big piece of the whole experience that I left out was 'taming Santa'. It was a challenge to keep Santa in his place and the meaning of the true reason we celebrate Christmas as the main focus. In short, I had to shrink Santa! :D
(And, no! This is not the part where I talk about a special shrink gun that my husband invented.)
So, yes! The point is, I am taking out a whip and taming this Christmas thing in the one place that I can control it - my heart and my mind! I'm turning Christmas into miniature! and if you need it, I have, indeed, invented a shrink gun which I am now going to demonstrate for you!
Behold, out of proportion expectations and emotions running high over who knows what little petty issue.
Now! I turn on the shrink ray and let it warm up and, then.......
Of all the painful things happening in the world (and I've erased my list - it's too heartbreaking and you know it well!), arguing over the petty things is a crime!! But I don't want to belittle YOU or your struggles - they're real!! This is why we need help and comfort and that is why we so desperately need to celebrate...
the light that came - has come - is here in the world!
The rest is tiny in comparison, eh?
Am I getting preachy? I don't know! I'm so tired at the moment and have had a weekend that I didn't expect - with its highs and lows!
I'm going to bed and, perhaps, finally, tomorrow I'll get around to writing something light and easy about figgy pudding. (which I've never had. Is it good?)