Our kids borrowed my alarm clock a couple of days ago. They have been waking up early wanting to know the time. Anticipation of Christmas? Perhaps.
At 4 AM, less than an hour ago, it went off. Hubby was quick like St. Nick and darted to their room before they heard the alarm’s blaring beeps.
If it were my way, I wouldn’t have heard the beeping and would still be asleep, like they are all snuggled in their beds. Can’t get back to sleep so I am here at my blank page. Anticipation of Christmas, perhaps.
Last night was our annual “caroling in the hood”. (See previous year’s posts on this tradition: https://heartwriter.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/sing-loud/ and https://heartwriter.wordpress.com/2009/12/25/singing-love-tradition-part-iii-by-j-g-mcglothern/).
My friend and I started this three years ago, but last night she couldn’t attend, at home sick, we caroled to her instead. Her family wasn’t the only family who couldn’t participate. Four of the five families who join in, could not last night. Skiing, sickness, and family events kept them all away.
A new large group of us gathered. I was thrown off a bit by our not used to singing together, and our off key renditions. The folks who offered us cookies and smiled from their front porches didn’t care that we were a bit off key or that others were singing different lyrics than the rest. They were grateful for the voices outside their door. The new group was carried away with the spirit of song, perhaps joyful with the anticipation of Christmas.
We caroled to my sick friend and her family. They sang along from the front porch. Perhaps, if it were her way she wouldn’t have been ill and her family would have been with us walking the streets belting out Christmas Carols. But from my vantage point, looking in, they were snuggled and warm, together in their living room. Smiling when she gave us bells to use for the rest of our caroling adventure, I could see she had surrendered to being ill, she was already on her way to recovery.
Tomorrow morning both of our kids are getting a clock for Christmas. One to hang on the wall for his new found curiosity with time. And one to light up digitally for her need to know the time in the dark of the night. (We will cover the alarm part with tape.)
When traditions go differently it is a reminder for me to let go, to surrender to the spirit (the Holy one, and the Christmas one too). When we get sick we shift our outlook, slow down. When we are awake when we would rather not be, we are aware and being asked to give up our control.
In time I am learning all this. Not the way I planned of course, but the perfect way indeed.
by J.G. McGlothern