Christmas is upon us! Well, it was upon us anyways, and I failed to submit my post before going on holiday. That won’t stop me from writing about it now, however. It’s true that I’ve been busy these last few weeks (Haven’t we all?). Thankfully I didn’t allow myself to use that as an excuse not to create a few just-for-me moments, like decorating the house or simply sitting and watching the snow fall early in the morning while sipping coffee.
Up here in the Pacific Northwest, we typically only have two seasons: Rainy season and not-as-rainy season. So when it is sunny or when it snows, I get as giddy as a child and treasure every second. A few days before Christmas, the sky clouded over and little white flakes began to fall and continued to fall through the day and night. Magically, they stuck around (for only 24 hours, mind you, but that is saying something!)
Looking past the commercialism that has attempted to steal much of the meaning of Christmas away, this particular holiday fills me with the warmest fuzzies of all fuzzy-good feelings. I love the smell of pine and mulling spices, the taste of belly-warming winter soups and bourbon-laden cocktails, the feel of thick wool socks on my feet and large knit scarves around my neck. I love the sound of friends and family laughing together in kitchens, in bars, in markets, and on street corners.
And the thing I love most of all is pondering the birth of my savior. I am reminded of a poem by Christina Rossetti that helps to capture the miraculousness of this day. (There are also plenty of musical renditions of this poem. I like this one titled the same, In the Bleak Midwinter.
In the Bleak Midwinter
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
Merry Christmas everyone!