What I want for Christmas: Kindness. Diversity. Inclusion. Peace on earth. Empathy. Connection.
One way to get such fine gifts: Make your holiday prayer/grace/invocation welcoming to all who are around your table and all around the world. Author Anne Lamott, not one to get all sentimental and dreamy and exclusive about prayer, says that there are three kinds: Help, Thanks, Wow. We certainly need the first, being all human and everything. When we do the second, we are being our best selves, which feels really right, even when it's a struggle to think up what is going right. When we do the third, we are probably at our most present, in awe of something beyond words - whether a sunset or a kindness or acceptance.
It's fun to imagine that all those words beaming upwards, whether they are meant for a personal God-with-a-capital-G or the universe or a life force or no place particular could mix up all together and help shift things towards those gifts just a little bit.
Here is my attempt which has leapt to other tables than mine over the past few years. It's yours too if you like it, from me to you. Better yet, write your own, whether it be for Help, Thanks, or Wow, or maybe all three.
We stand here together
entranced by this season that encourages our impulse for generosity and kindness,
awed by whatever grace landed us in the circle of the kind of family and friends that everyone deserves,
humbled by the abundance of our lives,
relieved that even on the longest nights of the year, there is moonlight and firelight to bring us home where we belong.
We stand here together
missing those who were once with us and now inhabit our hearts and memories,
yearning for the others we love, gathered around other tables, thinking of us,
grateful for this time of year when we can see more clearly, sing more heartily, and embrace more fully the hope for peace in our hearts and in our world.
Here is a link to a couple of past Christmas posts, one about this grace, and one about Christmas and grief. To keep track of where I go next, Subscribe above and to the right to not miss a post. Please come visit the Ms Crankypants Facebook page too and click Like while you are there.
Also, I have just expanded and re-launched my website www.wavesofgrief.com. For fresh ideas and practices, please come visit.