We leave for church in just over an hour. The community Thanksgiving feast is today and I have two pumpkin pies ready to go and there are sweet potatoes roasting in the oven. And they smell delicious. I wish I’d had the foresight to take the rest of this week off. I would spend it cleaning and baking and trying the recipies I hope will work out. Like the batch of carmel I made last night which is hard and mean and I would never force on a friend. But would gladly let a piece rest on my tongue while I sip my coffee this morning.
Last night, while rolling out pie crust, we put in “Love Actually” and it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. And I don’t mind that, even though we haven’t finished with Thanksgiving yet. I saw a few people moan on the book of face about people getting all Christmasy before Thanksgiving (before Halloween, even), and to them I say “Sorry.”
The best and sometimes worst of us comes out with the holidays. We have anticipation galore and sometimes the day lives up to it, and sometimes not. But the doing of the holidays is worth it, regardless of what we who like to think we are non-consumerists feel. The cooking and the gifting–whether done glitzy and large or homey and small–are done with the purpose of making others feel loved and cared for and about. We take this time each year to do so because it is so easy in the “busy-ness” of the rest of the year to do so.
I do not bemoan the coming of the holidays nor do I, any longer, bemoan the going of them. I enjoy them fully while they are here and then I enjoy them fully as memory. If I bemoan anything, it is that our society tends to be all about the anticipation and angst and never really in that moment around the table, when everyone is fed, the wine bottle has been passed around, there’s is no room (yet) for pie, and we can sit, talk, laugh and share the quiet rites of family and community.
Sometimes the carmel is hard and tacky. Yet, as my 15 year old said last night, it still tastes “delicious.” I’ll be remembering that as we travel into this holiday season, my eyes and heart wide open to the wonderful mistakes as well as the well-crafted “wins.” In the meantime, those sweet potatoes taste yummy and the church community awaits.
My wish for you this holiday season is that you enjoy it as it unfolds and have room to breathe when it gets over-taxing. Moreso, my wish is that you make it manageably magical. As most everything is, with love.