It’s a very quiet Christmas Eve at our house.
Fog covers the mountains.
We didn’t decorate a tree. No sound of children’s voices.
Our family had festive days together in November and will have more this weekend. Tomorrow there will be brunch in the home of friends.
But today it’s just us. And time.
Time for reviewing the year, mug in hand, wrapped in an afghan made by loving hands long ago.
Time for prayer for our troubled world. Black lives that matter. Police lives that matter too. Endless wars.
Christina Rosetti focused on bleakness at Christmas, turning away from tinsel and sleigh bells and snowmen who sing.
In 1872 she responded to a Scribner’s Monthly request for a Christmas poem with “In the Bleak Midwinter.” The poem appeared in her collected works, was set to music by the composer Gustav Holst, and published in the English Hymnal in 1906.
I invite you to get your own mug and afghan and listen and watch.
The bleak midwinter is calling me to celebrate Christmas quietly this year, to open no presents, just to give the babe my heart.
I immerse myself in bleakness and ask what it has to teach.
Have you been called by bleakness this holiday season? I’d love to hear how.