What you Really Want for Christmas

If you know the story too well,
all the more reason to come.

* * *

Maybe a year of waiting,
a year perhaps
of tending to everyone else’s stuff –
of feeling at times
like you are standing alone on a hill
watching over your flock,
and while you are happy to do it –
grateful to be able to do it –
you see in your reflection
the toll it has taken,
the effect of that wind on your face.

Or maybe you’ve had a year,
not of having too much,
but having too much UNshared,
arms tired.
It is exhausting
carrying one’s gifts,
not knowing where to set them down.

Or maybe you’ve had a year
of news dropped on you
you’re still trying to figure out
what your response to it should be,
feeling you ought to know the answer by now,
but there it is every day again, the same puzzle over that.

What you really want
under the tree
is a break from the free fall
you are in.
You aren’t holding out much hope for it.

if you know the story too well,
all the more reason to come to it
and meet again
those on hills, tending flocks,
those traveling long, bearing gifts
destination unknown –
those having news dropped on them
and needing to find their responses,
those who have waited a very, very long time,

to light a candle
or let someone else
and to hear it,
bit by bit,
the story.

the chance
you aren’t the only one.

There is a spot for you
in the crowd,
a spot that has maybe
gone empty
you feel you know the story too well.

By just such thinking as this
have many been kept in isolation long.
Step out of isolation and into the story, familiar yet new.

* * *

I have written this post as part of the Advent Writing Project at Wide Open Spaces. Check out Charity’s words and links to more Advent pieces there.

🙂 Check out where Laura wrote, “I am behind on life again” and Charity’s “I’m trying to catch a vision for something.”

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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4 Responses to What you Really Want for Christmas

  1. Marilyn – Oh this is perfect; this is exactly what I needed to hear this Advent. Because though I love the familiar in Advent, I do find that I take it for granted. Life keeps this story new; Jesus keeps this story true. And again and again I have to come and experience both together.

    Blessings, friend!


  2. “the effect of that wind on your face”–oh, I know! This is so poignant, Marilyn.


  3. juliana says:

    So very beautiful…


  4. laura says:

    Oh, you sweet friend. You’ve gone and made me cry. I get all mushy at Advent. This is a beautiful reflection, Marilyn. And how many times have I skipped over the story to get on to the next thing? Because I know it too well. Lovely.


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