December 6, 2010: Repeat the Sounding Joy—again

Saturday morning, I invited my husband to join me to shop at a crafts fair and to pick up our Christmas wreath.

He declined. “We’ve gone there for several years,” he pointed out. “It’s always the same.”


This holiday season, more than ever, I relish same-old, same-old. Aside from not sending Christmas cards (“[Sending Christmas cards is] expensive, and time-consuming and environmentally unfriendly” declared The Boston Globe‘s Miss Conduct yesterday.), I joyfully repeat my holiday traditions.

Why?  It’s not just because lately it seems as though the loonies have taken over my country. Or that my father died. Or that my writing’s stalled. Which make keeping my balance and perspective and equanimity hard sometimes, so that same-old feels safe. Not entirely.

It’s also because when I light a candle  or deeply breathe in the living, green, verdant smell of our Christmas wreath, I connect with the billions of my species who feared/fear the dark and the cold and mortality, yet remain hopeful but yearning.

And I am finding enormous comfort in that connection.

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  1. Ah yes, to quote from the previous blog, these traditions are:
    “complex, subtle, original, profound and at the same time terse.”

  2. Sending holiday cards IS expensive and time consuming. They are also WONDERFUL to receive! They are definitely a part of the holiday season that I wish would stay same-old, same-old. But unfortunately I get less and less every year.

    You can send postcards, which use less paper. You can send cards made from recycled paper. You can make your own cards out of junk mail.

    Boo Miss Conduct! Viva Snail Mail!

  3. Thank you for your post. I was having a bah humbug morning and your simple words helped me get past my crankiness – I’m gonna go for a swim and then buy a WREATH from MY favorite local business here in Waltham…

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