The third week of Advent is the week of Joy and I reflect on how our cultural festivities touch us and, when they don’t kidnap the holiday from the holy, bring wonder, tenderness and grace into our lives.
God, for decorating trees with kindergarten crafts
and baking cookies shaped like them, I give thanks.
For hanging stockings
making sure there are carrots in the house,
and shaking packages, I give thanks.
For choosing gifts with care and love
and remembering presents
from those no longer with me, I give thanks.
For much loved music and traditional food,
cards to catch up with old friends
and lights on houses that bring a smile
to complete strangers driving by, I give thanks.
For piñatas, christingle, oyster stew,
for mistletoe and the Salvation Army bell,
for farolitos, julehjerter, chrismons, white gifts,
the scent of pine wreath,
and even Yankee swaps, I give thanks.
For the small sweet festivities
that are parables of joy,
Emmanuel, I give you thanks and praise.