Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Scratch that Chin

This year, our Christmas tree is staying in the basement. We have two crazy kittens, and a tree would just be another piece of furniture to have to pick up off the floor when we get home from work, along with our lamps and wicker screen and pillows and houseplants and full-length mirror and tablecloths and clean laundry. Advent candles are verboten, too- but we have gotten away with burning a nice balsam-scented votive now and again without lighting any tails on fire... yet. I've put the Christmas-colored kitchen towels out, and that's about it, decoration-wise. But I can still feel Christmas coming. It's kind of nice, and Adventy, to have a place to come home to that is not decked, that doesn't blare Christmas music at me, that isn't twinkling. Our home is a cozy place to wait for good things to happen. Advent can start to feel like a forced, artificial way of getting everyone to hold back on their Christmas celebrations, a velvet (purple) rope behind which to wait before you rush toward Santa. (I've watched Catholics reprimanding other Catholics for daring to utter the C-word during Advent)But this year, maybe more than ever, I see the wisdom in a season of waiting. Time goes by sooooo fast. This year, I think every month someone has said "I can't believe it's (June, September, December, etc...) already!!" But, you know, believe it! It is December already and Summer's long gone, whether you still have your sundresses hanging in your closet and mittens still in a bin under your bed. Ready or not, here comes Christmas. Advent, though, is the cat on your lap when you're trying to write a paper... you've got a deadline, your head is full of all the things you've got to get into writing, your fingers are tapping away. But the cat wants love now. The cat is not only in your lap but is purring like crazy, is gazing passionately into your face and is demanding that you use your hands to scratch his chin, rather than type that paper that NEEDS to be typed. You can try to ignore the cat and eventually he will go away, but... you know what? Scratch that chin. Give the cat a squeeze and revel in the purring, and in a minute go back to your task. You'll be better for the break and for the love. Christmas is not here yet, there's still some time to get ourselves (and our souls) ready. Still time to take a deep breath, sit and listen to the kittens purr and the furniture crashing down, still time to think about giving and receiving,still time to ready ourselves to welcome and receive Jesus into our hearts again.

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