I love the music of Christmas and though I sing with more enthusiasm than skill, was looking forward to singing in the church choir this morning. But I went to bed Christmas Eve as a soprano and awoke a basso profundo. And so Christmas morning I sat in the back near the exit so we could slip out without passing germs along with handshakes and hugs.
The service was beautiful - beautiful heartfelt words, beautiful heart-filling music. I spoke my James Earl Jones narration to all the congregational carols and then closed my eyes, closed my mouth and sang along in my heart with the choir - filled with gratitude and a deep happiness though I had no throat to give it voice.
And so another imperfect Christmas to honor His most perfect gift -- a celebration flawed but happy, as they almost always are, as I am myself.
The house still has boxes (and the garage has more) but we've made the best of it, brought out the familiar decorations, hung up lights to brighten the darkness.
I still don't know what I'm doing here. Though it's lovely here and everyone has been lovely.
I had put aside this past week to bake the boys' favorites (and mine), namely Limey Lambs, Nutmeg Bears, Cocoa Crackles, Almond Crescents. But a nasty cold bug saw that window and jumped right through to grab me by the throat.
If it weren't for our darling neighbors here who have provided a generous parade of cookies and homemade candies and other holiday treats, I'd worry about my boys feeling deprived. Instead, in a last bid for health and vigor enough to inflict (and not infect) ourselves upon my parents, I made switchel Christmas night :
8 cups waterYou can buy this natural ginger ale in small bottles already made up in the health food section where it costs a pretty penny, but it's only about a dime and as many minutes to mix up a large jar and leave overnight in the fridge.
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 Tbs real apple cider vinegar
6 Tbs local raw honey
4 inches ginger, peeled and grated
a couple of cinnamon sticks
I'm believing with a vengeance all the folklore/ science about unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar tonight and believing even more that once I get through this rough spot, this cold, this dark, I'll be whole and hale with useful work to fill my hands and light my heart.
Until then, this perfectly imperfect Christmas, with its good that outbalances any bad, is like a postcard from that warm, well-lighted place that I'm going to trust is waiting just ahead.