I imagine that the usual madness is going on across the country. Frantic preparing, purchasing, and planning. Looming melancholy in many hearts. Exhortations from the pulpits and soapboxes. Special sales and pushes for donations. These are the symptoms of our holiday tradition.
As I sat outside a moment ago, though, I heard no trace of it. A bird sang his existence. The traffic sighed and the trees dropped leaves in a whispered, faltering conversation. Sun warmed my shoulder as one of my dogs came to sit on my lap. There was no sign of the endless shuffling and organizing happening out there.
The fever rush of the holidays holds no truth. All of it is no more than a scheduled symptom of the asylum.
There is no lessening or increase in the presence of spirit with the holidays. The Beloved is a constant companion. It is we who waver and forget at times, and propping up a dying tree won’t remind us.
You don’t need to purchase more things to celebrate, and you don’t need to have a receipt to bring a smile to your loved ones’ faces. Each day brings fields to toil and each day brings its daily bread. If we dream, we leave the fields untended to run in the marketplace. If we dream, we eat our hearts instead of the daily bread. This is the consumerism and sadness of the holidays.
This holiday season, let us try to simply spend time doing the work of our hearts with those we are given. Let the holy companion, who walks with you always, direct your hands. Let Him choose those who sit at your table. It is enough, more than enough, to walk the fields before you and drink the cup you are given.
The truth of the holidays is infinitely far beyond holiday tradition. And none can say what that truth is, for the truth of it is individual. Each day, circled on the calendar or not, is a gift the Beloved is giving you. What is it that you are being given this year? Do not let your lists blind you to it.