Today I took the time to read some blogs, which I hadn’t done in a while. I found The Nester’s blog again (she’s Chatting at the Sky’s sister) and took a break from paper- and poem-revising to look at beautiful photos of her home decorated for Christmas.
It was white and gold and clean. Sparkly. Warm.
I have my own box of Christmas decorations that lives in the back of my closet until after I return to school for the last couple of weeks. My little apartment living room gets the majority of what’s in the box—ornaments for the tree (including the paper star my friend Logan made and pipe-cleaner candy canes), lights, a tiny table runner for the coffee table. This year, I made cranberry-red popsicle stick snowflakes for my wall and a banner to hang by the front window.
This Christmas, I’m really into short phrases. (Okay, nerd alert, but bear with me.) In all the photos of The Nester’s house, there were just a few words. A white pillow had “baby it’s cold outside” on it (lovely!), and “the weary world rejoices” was framed. When I was cutting triangles out for the banner I made, I listened to all the Christmas songs I loved for one-liners I could write out, letter-by-letter, and hang up. I landed on “merry & bright” because it’s how I want to feel in December. It’s simple. (And I got to draw a fancy ampersand.)
But these short one-liners feel somehow matched with how I feel about Christmas this year. I like how they give us just a glimpse of the rest of the song (or poem, etc). How they make me slow down. How they echo in my mind, hanging around like gentle snow. They remind me that I don’t need clutter, that waiting for something else is okay.
And then they take me back to the Gospel. It is a simple truth, but it is enough. And having a bunch of small phrases dancing around my mind reminds me of the importance of the days leading up to Jesus’ birth—little hints that something big, something complete, something fulfilling—is beginning.
O Holy Night is one of my favorite songs to listen to while I sit in my living room with Christmas lights sparkling. I almost don’t remember its words as a whole; they come back to me as phrases alone because they’re full enough to stand alone. Take them one at a time, because Christmas asks us to slow down. Take them slowly, because Christmas asks us to wait, so when we wake up on Christmas morning, it’s actually new and glorious. A beginning.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!