Advent Poem: The Season of Enough

My Favorite Advent Poem!  From 2014


It’s the season to journey
to places we know so well
but haven’t been to…
and now it is time
in this never enough world
to declare the season has come:
it’s the season of enough!

ENOUGH!

Enough of the certified baby so boring,
our “gentle Lord Jesus so timid, meek and mild”,
enough of the muffled mage soft-spoken and sage
who wouldn’t say shit even if He’d a mouthful!…

Source: Advent Poem: The Season of Enough

The Big Books Of My Longing


In the Big Books
of my longing

the pages

(fresh bread fragrant,
full, and beckoning)

speak of other
days and other
worlds hung in
Mystery Skies…
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where Winter walks
in sleighbell slippers
and flashes snowflake
teeth in starlight,

teeth gleaming
in teeming flurries
dancing furiously
frivolous and fancy
free…
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reaching to me
inside my room
in the Big Books
of my longing

and pages rustle
like wrapping papers
and chestnuts pop
so merrily,
clicking their
Christmas tongues
tsk tsk tsk…
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and She,
Lady Winter
in furs of hearth
and home, underlaid
with ermine fires
like brown-tinged
liquid gold, furs and
white hot coals inside
Her Heart so cold…
so Warm…
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It’s just outside
my window pane

(and glowing
in the pages too)

in the big books
of my longing…

Look!  And see how
even in Her Presence

(Her very Presence!)
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In Her Presence
ducklings sneer
at that name called
Frozen

and quacky laff and
swing a wiggly waddly tail
and burst in shattering wings
that break the pond-limit water pane
once so still and now awash in
ripple-tizzy ripple run
tum tum tum
pum
b2396d4e2dc0defeada93da2d466901a
just outside
my window pane

they break
with earth
and rise
revealed
just ducks
of quacky
laff at regal
August Winter
in December…
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while
the swans,
contrapuntal
in becoming
also rise
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(like the
floaty moon so
silverlight in
revelations
of duck
and dirt
and
common
clay)
The moon rises behind the Dorje Lakpa Mountain as Swayambhunath stupa is seen in forground in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. The brightest moon in almost 69 years lights up the sky this week in a treat for star watchers around the globe. The phenomenon known as the supermoon will reach its most luminescent in North America before dawn on Monday. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Swans,
become stars
swimming thru still night
and singing all Her praise
and shining gracefully
on gliding wings…
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in the Silent Singing Snow

and
every
sound
echoes

my heart
inside that
just outside…
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just outside
my window pane
and the Big Books
of My Longing

Advent Poem: Away With The Gimmicks (echoing ‘Away In A Manger’)

away with the gimmicks
we’re done with your crap
the lies that you laid down
the manger a trap

we want a tradition
that’s living and free
and songs of thanksgiving
and fresh liturgy
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that’s ancient and yet new
and still relevant
so profound, so simple
so “un-sycophant”

Entrance, proclamation,
the Eucharist true,
sending out, gathering,
preaching Good News
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Restore the New Baby
the Time Bomb in time
the Bread come from Heaven
the Living New Wine

away with the gimmicks
the scripts and the lies
So faith, hope and love can
come open our eyes.
New Covenant

Advent Poem: Holy Wassail Wine

God,
rest Ye…

here in the midst
of the mess and the malls
and the masses of middling
and the muddles of mercy
needed, so badly needed.
pdx streets
Let nothing

Masquerade as something
filling hearts so full
(of nothing…nuffin)
that they “feel full”
and still hunger for
bread become stone
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For
Jesus Christ was
born upon this day,

again in the sound of muzak
again in the tread of tired
tramping feet tiptoeing
around grapes of wrath
unstored in stores
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again…be born
again upon
This Day

O tidings of comfort and joy!
For the final word
is not dismay
and darkness shall not
have the final say!
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here is joy
enfleshed,
mingled with
sorrow like
Holy Wassail Wine
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The Day I Learned To Love “The Santa Lie”

Source: The Day I Learned To Love “The Santa Lie”

I love this…just…

this.

See…we did this, told beautiful and magnificent stories of Santa.  In fact, I wrote an origin tale about Santa Claus that even involves the Baby.  I tromped around on rooftops, and I walked on the carpet in ashes to leave boot prints…

…and the coup de gras?  I told the kids that some parents understood that Santa had such a big job that they wanted to help share the burden of reaching all children to give gifts so they themselves took on the mantle of the jolly fat man…and in essence did indeed become Santa Claus.

I loved those days…every magical miracle moment.  I stayed up all night long setting up race tracks and laying out Polly Pockets.

My dear friend and brother John writes about this so well, so eloquently…please head over and enjoy.
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Advent Poems: The Season of Revelation

the arrival of that miracle
our hearts all know lurks
just outside this skein of time,
practicing its own waiting
for the miracle moment of emergence…and
redemption of yet another season of waiting.

Revealed.our_ends_are_beginnings_by_paradisiacpicture-d7oasob

A God
shouldered It’s Way
into the world today…
This God, revealed
rough and roaring
and wrapped in the skin
of this baby asleep,
hidden here in our heart

Revealed.tumblr_ngacq8vgRy1s7jx17o1_1280

Reunion waits for me and you…
That towering act of redemption
Resounds throughout all of creation, today

Revealed.tumblr_ng4cw8PIiF1soxzypo1_500

Lion, Lamb and Baby through the smoke
Paying every Promise that They Spoke

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God has stepped into our world
to dig us out of every prison
we disguised as snug burrows
and cozy hobbit holes

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This Christmas,
nothing has been exposed…

Revealed.tumblr_msmhh7xdmD1rq9ek2o1_500

Time will never simply pass by
without engraving its mark
in a stab to my heart or a tender sweet touch
or a mortal wound bleeding and dark

Revealed.tumblr_lxlo4o4U3N1r8xslzo1_1280

Kneel where you are, for that is where it is,
that lowly manger unseen by the great
and in that manger, there inside of you
your face upturned and wet with Heaven’s dew
the Christ Child comes to make all things brand new

Revealed.tumblr_ngw3mjvEWs1r3fkjno1_1280

They…hungry…ready
to come to us now.
Them with us
move in us
empty us
to satisfy us
dine with us
and hunger ever sharp and sated
all at once

Revealed.tumblr_ngj4vr7T1y1r1vfbso1_1280

…and we?
With gratitude we enter, invitation tightly clutched to aching breast…
we kneel hushed and astonished safe and sound as we are changed
by this Child’s Gift (or is the Child Himself the gift that’s given?)
Invited to approach and revel, knowing what we’ve always known
is finally here and shining present, Sacred Heart Alive Forever
in the season of fulfillment pure and everlasting…

Revealed.wg441_ghost_1

…and so we yearn, together, aching
in the lonely moments waiting
perfect timing of those winds
to blow away the mists
and let that mountain shine again
in solid clarity and splendour promises
that someday the Divine Loneliness
and human grieving longing
will be overcome by
Faith and Hope and Love

Revealed.tumblr_mozejosP561rn6qqco1_1280

I am mindful of
many things I hold in faith,
committed to God

Revealed.tumblr_mp4l3fWgCO1s6oboso1_1280

For here it is we sit and wait,
for the coming of our Heart
Their meaning to our Core impart.

Today, the Life Revealed,
the Heart of God Revealed
utterly different than the heart of man
revealed.

And you?
Here in this season of Revelation?
Do you dare?

Look within
Look without

and see what is revealed.

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Advent Poem: The Season of Silence

Today hubbub and hustle
tramways trollies and trellises
crammed with travelers, trophy-takers and talkers

the cacophony joyous ascends, surrounds, spreads
and in this din great tidings of cheer resound
and rebound, and return round again.

But at the core, where I sit,
(you are sat there too, you know.  Just listen)
it is silent.  The Quiet is here.

Thick.  Palpable, wooly white and
smelling of seasoned woods and wet forest kneeled
and of the hush in the heart of the Snow-Covered Fields.

It descends, swells, covers and crawls
(on feet like Sandberg’s cat)
and fills the core of cheer with substance

The substance of Silence.
The presence of Anticipation.Image 001

For here it is we sit and wait,
for the coming of our Heart
Their meaning to our Core impart.

And as the night stretches out and goes on
and the din dies down exhausted and content
the silent sound of labor has begun.

The shriek of sweat trickles down
(fingers down life’s blackboard revealing white beneath)
her face, contorted in composed intent concentration

Bearing down, the groaning of contractions
and the towering soundless shouts of no one there with her
except her earnest clumsy man so loving, so full of silent fear.

*me sat here, throat lumpified and choked,
mummified and heart stokes,
smoke stacked up, backed up
and no where to go but inward,

no words to say no deeds to do
no place to go no getting away
no arriving new just sat here,

enduring, waiting*

The silent moment flexes hard and pushes
Her face a rictus of the wrenching passion
of the passage of a God, her baby

and then deliverance and everything on pause
every heart breath held and chest unmoving
until the night is pierced by One Small Cry that echoes still

across our darking skies,
in the fullness of Anticipation
In the Season of Silence, this Holy Present Silence.

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Advent Story: The Healing of the Light King (Epilogue)

 For Part TEN, click HERE
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The old man was quiet, and then said simply, “Yes. I did.”
“Oh, show us, Grandpa. Please show us,” the children begged in unison.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Now, now,” protested the old man. “It’s time for bed, you fuzzyheads! Come into my arms and I’ll carry you to your room.

“Oh, Grand-pa!” they wailed, but they obeyed.

He hoisted them like they were babes and turned to leave the fire’s light. He hesitated, and then he strode over to a dark, lifeless lamp, and stood still a moment. The Children, one under each arm, looked at each other excitedly and held their breath.

And then…the old man breathed on the lamp…WHOOSH…and laughed as light

…pure light…

leapt up in the lamp in answer to the call of his breath.
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The old man laughed and danced around the room, swinging the children high and breathing upon lamp after lampLK010LK026LK043
until the whole room had blossomed, ablaze in light, and then he whisked the children out of the room and whirled down the hall to their beds.
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Some time later, he emerged.

“Hello Father”, came a deep, strong voice.

The speaker was a tall, noble man with grey streaks of wisdom in his beard and a golden crown upon his head.The old man looked up and grinned. “Hello son, err, Your Highness,” he bowed with only a hint of teasing.

“Kids settled in, Father?” asked the King. “I was just coming to tuck them in.”

“Oh yes. I expect you’ll find them ready and waiting. Ready and waiting”.

The king looked at his father…all dressed beautiful red—like blood—and hair white as snow and shinning bright.

“You’re putting’ on a little weight, there Father. Your belly looks like jelly!’

“Aye, that it does, son, that it does. Too much ale and good cooking’ I guess.”

“But you look healthy, dad. By the Star—you look like you will live forever!”

The old man threw back his snowy head, pulled his crimson cloak around him, and roared in delight.

“That I may, son, that I may”.

Then he walked down the dark hall to his chambers and as he passed, every dark dormant lampLK048

blazed on in glorious heavenly echo of the light of his passing.
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The King stood and watched him until he disappeared round the corner, and the echoes of his laughter faded in the distance.
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“Behold, the Light King”, he said softly. “Behold.

He turned and went in to his children.

The End
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*****     *****     *****     *****     *****
For Part TEN, click HERE

Advent Poem: The Season of Promise (in haiku)

The sound of raindrops
and the smell of fir branches…
I was lapped by time.

I am mindful of
many things I hold in faith,
committed to God.

In this reverent mist
silver memories descend
gentle on my face.

I think of my heart,
its four chambers birthed from me
leaving Their Promise

soft there inside me,
layers of a tight red rose
blossoming each day

So these Christmas gifts,
given in deep love, bright hope
Of that final gift…

…of arriving home,
every Promise made fulfilled,
All Things Then Restored.

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Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 10)

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 9)

Advent Poem: The Season of Loneliness

Unbidden,
moving like mist in mountains
slow and fast and slow and long,
and lingering, white laced in grey,
and crawling, clinging to ramparts
and ridges that stand
strong and stark and still
catch an occasional ray of sun
from outside…but dimming
as the sun retreats before
the darkness of the night
that rushes over everything
with recollections
haunting,
isolating,
obliterating
sight.

Unknown,
vaporous,
real but irresistible and arising from…
*moan*…
and meaning…
*sob*…

climbing,
clinging,
clutching
clouding out,
shutting out
shouting out
solid rock stable and holding hands
reeling, cavorting, swirling

Undoing,
settling down on everything
and growing quiet,
and gaining in gravity
and growing heavy,
and draining memory
of every drop of blood
until everything
is overwhelmed and overtaken
and surrounded in the silver
of the dull fogs of what once was
and alas will never ever be again.

Alone,
in fields, waiting,
staring at the skies
so clear and so occluded,
every loss hung there bright brilliant
on deep black skies never ending,
every sorrow there is twinkling,
every hurt is glowing blinking there
so merry, so unyielding,
I gaze upon my starry constellations
of great loss and ruination
marking time and pointing steady
so unchanging in this night…

Cold,
missing home,
missing that place (and time)
where all things hushed and gathered
noisy in a deafening din,
all collected, full, o’erflowing
from my tender heart within
the very center of the moment
in the Advent Season Present
bathed in wonderful quick joy.

Real,
that place then but lost now in my mind
(like ridges and ramparts now submerged).
The sheep rustle restless
and underneath their bleating
I hear the sound of bleeding
in the heart of living memory
of hearth and home now pierced
and rent and disappearing…
and I wait here,
lonely in this mist and overcome,
hunkered down but kissed and left so numb
as I recall the bliss of Christmas past
and have no hope of Merry Christmases
to dawn and to me come.

Winds,
well they exist,
and they do blow!
Cleansing from the North
and from the south they flow
in warmth and restoration,
dispelling every fog of gloom
and routing ever hurtful memory
that ever happened.
I fix my gaze on that One Star,
that portent bright, surpassing
all the mocking, twinkling titters
of the past its reminders constant.

Here,
in the season of loneliness
my lonely Advent heart
echoes that loneliness that lingers
there inside the heart of God
and so we yearn, together, aching
in the lonely moments waiting
perfect timing of those winds
to blow away the mists
and let that mountain shine again
in solid clarity and splendour promises
that someday the Divine Loneliness
and human grieving longing
will be overcome by
Faith and Hope and Love.

Grace,
and peace,
in the season of loneliness,
Love, Charissa

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Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 8)

Advent Poem: The Season of Fulfillment

1
All the world is hushed and still,
waiting under heavy burdens
white and grim and unrelenting,
groaning, crushed and disillusioned,
longing for redemption, peace,
goodwill and aching for release
from darkness, loneliness and death,Image 0032
and outrage…OUTRAGE
seething in this Silent Night
that echoes with Death’s violation
and defilement of our dreams
and destiny…such desecration…
Death so vicious and relentless
in its Never ending hungry lusty rusty horror.

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3
He came small and vulnerable
to bear the scars of our outrage,
came near enough to prove He’d stay,
regardless…Closer
than we realize or can imagine
in this night so long and lonely
Small He came to us, undignified and oh so tiny.wg836_desire4
That nearness, Love Personified
The Incarnation towers tall
Mysterious, absurd and all the while
Undignified, God’s Trump card (HIM)
played foolishly and weak
upon the table of the strong
confounding all the worldly wise, so clever and austere.

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Dignified? Undignified!
when Love became personified,
“Immanuel Undignified and one of us”
(and yet still outside twisty time)
approaching us as one of us,
held guilty and responsible
accused of shattering religion! Such a glory crime!tumblr_nap87vpqde1rwtzqno1_1280

6
And dwelling here in innocence and staying in our sorrow cold
but not to merely dispel shadows or resolve conundrums, no!
Bearing our humanity, and present with us in the midst of darkness,
Oh The Truest Light, The Deepest Joy, The Most Glad Heart
Fulfilling All Expectancy when every hope will come to pass!
Submitting to a grisly death to hold the whole world in His Heart that
He had held dear in His Hand to mediate our case to God… tumblr_nfco87W3fA1tw3geao1_500

7
The Child did Bleed, the Child did Die, and we?
With gratitude we enter, invitation tightly clutched to aching breast…
we kneel hushed and astonished safe and sound as we are changed
by this Child’s Gift (or is the Child Himself the gift that’s given?)
Invited to approach and revel, knowing what we’ve always known
is finally here and shining present, Sacred Heart Alive Forever
in the season of fulfillment pure and everlasting.tumblr_n8wb7sIxEO1qkww7to1_1280

 

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 7)

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 6)

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“Aye”, echoed Towser. It is our privilege to carry you. It is not every shepherd that gets to carry a King to meet a King.”

And off we went, Gillae leading the way, the flock following close at heel, the group of shepherds scattered round them, and then Mikkens, Towser and I bringing up the rear. We travelled an hour or so in this manner, following the star, men speaking to one another in hushed expectant tones.

As we travelled, I marveled at the endurance of my 2 bearers, and I could not help but reflect on the difference between these 2 and my previous 2 companions. One thing was becoming evident the more time I spent with these shepherds: Royalty is not a title or station in life, but rather a way of being that is oriented towards joyful sacrifice. Perhaps my bearers were kings more than the ones who had left me to die.
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After a while, I started to doze off, rocked by the soft motion of our travel.

I was startled by a voice and woke to find myself staring into Brownie’s intense gaze.

“Gillae wasn’t telling you the whole story, and I think you should know it, being a king and all. I don’t know much about kings, you being the only one I ever met” (and with this he eyed me dubiously), “but I can tell you that Gillae is braver than any man I ever met, and he is stronger and more giving than any person alive. Many times we have all been too tired to take our watches and we fall asleep, only to wake and see him on guard, over us and the sheep both. And in truth, tonight’s events have only added to his exploits!”

“Brownie” said I, “You have all seemed on edge and wary, and of course all of your hints and outbursts tell me there is more going on here than meets the eye. What exactly befell you on this evening of wonders?”

Brownie looked forward at Gillae to make sure he wasn’t listening…and no fear of that for Gillae was leading, and walking at ready as if expecting an attack of robbers, or worse. Then in a low voice, Brownie began to speak.

“Well, it all happened like Gillae said, but when the gigantic man appeared to us, we fell to the ground like dead men, but not Gillae! He stepped forward and raised his staff, and challenged the newcomer to identify himself as friend or foe, and if foe to prepare to meet his doom. The giant shining guy began to speak to us as we all clung to the ground like babes to their nursemaids.
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I will never forget his words:

‘FEAR NOT, oh sons of Adam’

he declared.

‘I bear to you good tidings from the throne of the Most High God Himself, tidings of great joy, to all men in all places here and for all time until the Breaking is made Unbroken on that Day. Unto you is born this day, in David’s city, a Savior! Christ the Lord!’

“His voice hung in the air like a living thing, and was frightening but beautiful. He said he was the angel of the Lord come from the throne of the Maker.

‘You are to go to the Savior with all haste. Look for Him wrapped in swaddling clothes’

said the angel.

‘But what are we supposed to do, break into people’s houses?’ Gillae said. The angel gave a thunderous blast with his voice, that must have been angelic laughter, and it both chilled and invigorated my soul.

‘Look in the stables, Shepherd, for this King will be with the sheep, lying in a manger.’

“‘A manger’” Gillae replied. ‘What kind of king is it that is born a Savior yet is lying in a feeding trough?’

“When he said this, the guy just threw back his head and again thundered a laugh. But bold Gillae demanded proof that he was the angel of the Lord, and not some seducing deceiver from the Breaker’s dungeons. He actually stepped forward and thrust his staff into the face of the angel!

“Well, the angel just glared at that staff, and then rose straight up about 50 feet, and clapped his hands three times…and the night split open
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and rolled back like a scroll and in its place was light like you cannot imagine!

“It was like a hole had opened in the night, and the shadows were torn away, and Heaven’s own glory was invading the dark earth, and if you think we were scared before, we were simply undone now!”

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For Part FIVE, click HERE

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 5)

Advent Poem: The Season of Redeeming Time

I’m surprised by the passing of time
it waves as it dances along
and leaves me here on this bench in the park
with astonishment gripping my heart.

Time will never simply pass by
without engraving its mark
in a stab to my heart or a tender sweet touch
or a mortal wound bleeding and dark.

And I think of the birth of a child
who will dance with time in ignorance
and get lost in occasions of beauty and joy
and its happy and frolicking lark.

But time walks away without caring
as it always has, does, and will do
and that’s when the child sees the back-side of time
as it passes austere, tall and stark.

The back-side of time is a window
to somewhere beyond time’s long reach
So I follow, and run after fleet-footed time
as it swims like a quick-silver shark.

But time just leaves me for dead.
Tell me, why is this such an outrage?
This act of irreverence, indifference unfeigned
in every crude step of time’s arc.

But I know a secret inside
the heart of my heart: come, and listen!
Proud hungry time is caught up in hubris
So I laugh, on this bench in the park.

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Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 4)

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 3)

Advent: The Healing of the Light King: A Story of Christmas (part 2)

A Difficult Movie Moment

Hi Constance…so many fun holiday movies to watch!

Okay, I admit it…I am a sucker for all those cheapo ABC Family TV movies, Christmas Romances one and all…but there are some classic ones to boot.  Ya know, the first 2 Home Alone movies are pretty dang good.  Of course I love any version of A Christmas Carol, and it has been my life long vow since I was a 5th grader to keep Christmas better than Scrooge did, after his visitations, that is.  I love A Christmas Story and my word Christmas Vacation is always always funny and poignant…way too many phrases are now part of Jane and my vernacular

“I don’t KNOW Margo!!”

And then you get to the true classics…Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, and others…

…and then the one.

The one that I dread.  The one that has defeated me, every year since the first time that I saw it when I was about 7 or 8 years old.

It’s A Wonderful Life.

Now this is a wonderful movie, objectively speaking.  No question.  I have watched it at least 30 times or more…and every single goddang time…I want to die afterwards.

Why?  I can hear you asking me that…why, ‘Rissa?  WTF??

Well, I will confess to you why.  Because I am convinced that if I ever saw what George Bailey saw…life without me ever having been born…well, I have always been certain that everything would be better and everyone around me better off.  It would be the opposite of what George Bailey experienced.

I know it isn’t a rational thing to believe…I have dissected these thoughts ad infinitum, and they still kick my butt…every single freaking year.

So this year, I am going to leave the old Savings and Loan to the Baileys.  I think I will watch “All I Want For Christmas” instead…or “Miracle…”  Hey, it is at least bluntly honest when Susan Walker says “I believe…I believe.  It’s silly but I believe!”

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Giving Thanks For Terrible Things: Losing My Father, My Job, My Plan… And My Fear

Dear Constance…
I am busy today…cooking, visiting with my baby and her father, watching the parades and a little of the football games. So I most likely will not have a lot of time to think of some post regarding Thanksgiving. Certainly in the midst of much loss, I do find my heart Thankful…though I am mystified as to why.

Well, John says it better than I could have or would have. He writes this with his heart blood and underlines it with his faith. Read and contemplate the core of thankfulness and the pulsing heart of this day.

Thank you John…I am thankful for you,
Charissa

john pavlovitz

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This is a time when even the most calloused and cranky of us steps back, takes stock of life, inventories the beautiful people and the sweet stuff we’re surrounded by, and gives thanks.

These gratitude lists are usually filled with things that most people would consider blessings. They’re made of friends and promotions and gifts and favor and celebration and recovery and success.

Maybe your year hasn’t felt that filled with such things, though.

In fact, you my have had a downright terrible year, or a really painful season, and maybe right now you’re bitter and exhausted and worried and grieving, and the blessing storehouse is feeling rather empty. Maybe giving thanks is a very tough sell right now.

Let me suggest an alternative.

“This has been the worst year of my life.”

I recently found myself saying this phrase out loud to a group of friends, when caught off guard and asked what I…

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