The Holidays, in Three Parts

January 5, 2020 - 8:54pm -- swingbug


Here I am sitting in another airport right before Christmas again, with a work laptop at my feet and my knitting sitting idly in my lap. I feel like I’ve written this blog before, and perhaps more than once.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I have little excuse for myself, except that I swear it was New Year’s Eve yesterday. You too?

Except... When I think about the thread of the year, the events that have come and gone, and good people that have been lost, the steady upwards ticks of my now-teenager’s height increases marked on wall (we could count my new gray hairs too, but let’s not) it suddenly seems like a long, long year after all. The space-time continuum is a trip. So we’re t-6 six days to Christmas. I’m 3/4 of the way prepared at home, absolutely swamped at the office, and waiting for a flight that’s an hour and a half delayed. How are you?

This trip I’m finishing up? I’m flying back from the southern end of the state, and I’ve made this particular trip 40 times in the last 5 years. The collective mileage is enough to circle the circumference of the Earth 1.7 times. Maybe I need to get myself some reindeer…


And somehow it all seems to come together at the last moment.

The deadlines get met (mostly), and the presents make their way under the tree. The pageant is short a Mary until the very last second, and somehow or the other Christmas still dawns, with all the Whos singing and that whole deal. You do the Christmas scene with one, two, three families and reset the living room (and oh the dishes) between. And somehow a little bit a grace settles in between all the crazy.

(I think that’s our metaphor-for-life, moral-of-the-day moment right there: a little bit of grace in between all the crazy. Because the crazy isn’t going anywhere, you know?)


I just put all this stuff up and now I'm taking it down again. I packed up the christmas lights scotch-taped to my desk at the office on Friday. The ornaments and trappings at home went back into their boxes yesterday. And today we set our Christmas tree on fire. (True story. It's an annual christmas tree bonfire with friends to celebrate Twelth Night. It's awesome; I recommend it. Safely, of course...) And we're back to the regular season.

Epiphany is a the liturgical name for Twelfth Night. Or a sudden intuitive perception, a glimpse of insight into the meaning of something. Standing in an empty field around a bonfire of what had been 20 or Christmas trees, I wasn't coming up with much in the way of unexpected clarity. Next to me, a friend said, "Well, there goes 2019," and we stood there and watched it burn.

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