Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After

Snow on Deck
Icy snow on my parents' deck

Here we are, folks, the day after Christmas. Whew!

I've been thinking lately of that scene in When Harry Met Sally - I'm sure you know the one of which I speak. Harry and Sally are at Jess and Marie's December wedding...Sally is wearing that hideous 1980's forest green bridesmaid dress...Harry approaches and awkwardly initiates conversation, saying:

Harry: Boy, the holidays are rough. Every year I just try to get from the day before Thanksgiving to the day after New Years.

A lot of suicides.


Obviously I'm not feeling as drastic as all that, of course, but still - the holidays are rough. I am more than ready to be done with them.

In light of that, I'm going to post one more good word on the season of Advent, for all my fellow holiday-strugglers. Brett McCracken posted the following on his blog a few weeks ago; it was helpful for me to read then, and has been helpful to keep re-reading.

"As I enter into Advent this year, I’m burdened by just as many hopes and fears as the next guy. There is pain and regret in my heart, love and confusion, physical and emotional imperfection, and immense exhaustion. I sometimes just want to drink eggnog or mulled wine and listen to Over the Rhine’s Darkest Night of the Year...while languishing in self-pity and world weariness as stocks and bombs carry the torch of history’s tumultuous march.

But Advent accepts all that. It thrives on unsettledness, uncertainty, despair. Which is kind of bleak for a holiday season that is typically thought of as the merriest season of all. Until we recognize that our pain makes Advent all the more meaningful—to look forward, expectantly, longingly, to the moment when all the pieces (of our lives, of history, of heaven and earth) come together in a monstrous cymbal crash that reverberates in every corner and cranny of the concert hall." -Brett McCracken

So, fellow holiday-strugglers - take heart! Our pains makes Advent all the more meaningful, and we can look forward to a joyous resolution.

But until then, we can look forward to January 2nd.

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