The calendar days do have to creep. Agonizingly.
They tick along as if they have all day, meandering, ambling, lethargic at best.
I press my nose against windowglass, focus on the snowflakes falling in flutters. This was the part of anticipation I didn’t appreciate. It meant awaiting, abiding, attending.
As a child, the culmination of Christmas couldn’t come quickly enough.
Gathering at my grandparents. Gifts sparkling, hailing wonder and delight.
Brunch with melting butter on biscuits, pancakes swimming in syrup, bacon heaped beside eggs. Orange juice in shiny glass pitchers and frozen fruit cups dotted with peaches and pineapple. Oh, to crowd in a cluster of cousins, shake packages, formulate guesses at what we’d find inside.
From my Spotify playlist, an absolute favorite song of mine opens with its beautiful melody and then Lily Cottrell begins singing these words:
“In the darkness, we were waiting/
without hope, without light/
then from heaven, you came running/
there was mercy in Your eyes.”
I stir the soup, tap the touchscreen to 400, arrange frozen cheesy breadsticks in formation across the baking sheet. Twinkle lights proclaim cozy wrapped among the pine branches and reflecting from the picture window. The softness mingles with flickering candles. The scent of soup and cinnamon and hot apple spice tea meld together, proclaiming Christmas. I’ve been wrapping gifts, burlap and bows, brown kraft paper and boxwood, keeping one eye on the urgent ticking of the calendar days and countdown.
Where did the December days rush off to? To-do lists never quite done; continuous add-ons constitute this a sure thing. How well I remembered the long slow procession toward Christmas when I was a youth.
Laughter carries up the basement stairs from my own little people at play. They’ve been caught in the angst of anticipation. I have to laugh a little myself at the progression life produces.
From time-lived-long to time-too-little.
Therein lay the gift of anticipation.
To truly savor. To sit with slow.
To yearn. To eagerly await.
To impatiently watch wide-eyed for this once-a-year wonder.
A three-fold gift indeed.
The Actual Embodied Experiencing.
The Act of Remembrance.
For this is Christmas indeed.
The greatest gift worth every bated breath of waiting.
A baby’s birth amongst straw and animals and new parents.
Light and Hope and Mercy breaking boldly into darkness.
A three-fold gift indeed.
His life, death, resurrection.
The remembrance celebrated in the eucharist.
Danielle Hammelef says
I think I enjoy the moments leading up to Christmas so much too. I savor the anticipation of my Savior’s birth.