By Ashley Brittingham
the week of flying paper and rolls of tape.
hidden presents surfacing from cupboard depths–
falling deeper and deeper into
the tumult of traditions.
the giving effort
more like an exhausting marathon
of colors and things.
standing in pews singing carols–
hymns i grew up with
the words fall from my mouth effortlessly
the meaning lost–stunted
amid the jumble of traditions and mindless repetition.
the reason for this time is close
but surrounded by already full
hearts and minds.
it lays listlessly by our swollen organs.
the purpose of the celebration:
a birth of one whom angels announced.
lights dressing the trees
angels sitting magnificently from up top
garlands and boughs adoring hearth and rail
numerous lists and to-dos and shopping–
these hardly seem relative
to a story upon which we base
the fury and arranged decor.
but what about our “joyous strains” (1)
and our “jubilee” (1)?
how are we to
“come and adore on bended knee/Christ the Lord the newborn king” (2)?
the “incarnate deity” (2)?
to give thanks for “sinners reconciled” (1)?
coming together for a common theme:
praising the “Lord descending”(3) this season
and worshiping the Lord or Lords–
- hark the herald angels sing
- angels we have heard on high
- angels from the realms of glory