A Mortal’s Christmas Eve


I made promises this week: to bring cookies to our Christmas Eve service tonight, to take treats to the neighbors, and to finish the four Advent stories.

We finally mixed and rolled out honey gingerbread and chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies today. The last two Advent stories are each halfway complete.

But sometime between noon and one o’clock today, Y came down with the stomach flu.

So we’ve reset our course for rest and recovery, and hopefully for containment. I’m afraid my small story project will not live up to its collection title this year, but in a curious way, there’s a beautiful mercy in this very sickness that is slowing us down.


Christmas is coming, even if we’ve got to meet it with anti-nausea medication and an endless cycle of washing hands and sheets and doorknobs. No amount of ill preparation or incomplete work could mar the beauty of Christ’s birth, or our gift as children to celebrate it.

So I spread my empty hands tonight, friends. I apologize that I have no further Advent tales to offer you — in place of them, only an odd sense of freedom at celebrating Christmas in joyful and unorthodox ways this time — but Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! I’ll see you here in the new year.

May joy be yours this season,



Little Jo disappeared with the bow bag. Later I stumbled upon this formerly neglected cranny, now properly bedecked.