These Shoulders

I have seen newborn eyes blinking in harsh light seeming in their depths to apprehend the mystery of ages silent, gazing wonder-struck. These eyes all-seeing ancient love unblinking. I have seen newborn shoulders— the Sharpei skin, ill-fitting velveted with palest fuzz, the palm-sized ribcage like birds' wings sheltering a tiny, sturdy, heart. Illogical contraption— padlock... Continue Reading →

Group Gifts–My Gift to You

Maybe you have nine nieces and nephews, like me, or maybe it's 15 grandchildren. Maybe you exchange gifts with all of your best friends’ families, and have been surprised by how quickly they went from one kid apiece to three to four… Maybe you’re buying gifts for out-of-town cousins you haven’t seen in years, and... Continue Reading →

Hey, king—do you know what I know?

One of my dear friends asked me recently for a Christmas reading that her church could use. Instead of a grand Christmas tea or event, their members are receiving a goodie bag to help them host mini-Christmas parties in their own homes. I think it is a beautiful idea, because it deconstructs the creeping notion... Continue Reading →

Season’s Greetings

’Tis the season!  You can tell, because Black Friday has come and gone and now they’re advertising doorbuster sales for Christmas day.  Black Friday was the wonderful invention of some civic-minded committee determined to help burnt-out Americans celebrate their glorious day off by giving thanks for alarm clocks and lines that stretch around the block. ... Continue Reading →

The Greatest Story Ever Told

“O holy night, the stars are brightly shining…” Sometimes a moment is so powerful that a hush falls over the crowd. Sometimes a whole throng of people turns, as one body, to stareslack-jawed at the sky. Christmas is such a moment. It’s a simple story, quickly sketched in just 3 chapters of Matthew and Luke—147... Continue Reading →

Christmas has all the best stories (and OK, to be fair, some of the worst schlock.  If in doubt, sample some of the unknown Christmas movies on Netflix this year — you’ll see.)  There’s a little bit of everything in a Christmas flick: magic, longing, delight, sometimes tragedy, always wonder, more often than not hilarity. ... Continue Reading →

A beggar at Christmas.

If I have calculated correctly, Christmas is 8 days away. (I was an English major; you do the math!) So maybe, like me, you are watching old movies and pulling out favorite Christmas stories for an annual read-through. Last year, we discovered a story new to our family, a beautiful little old-fashioned tale called "The... Continue Reading →

A carol for Sunday.

It came upon the midnight clear, That glorious song of old, From angels bending near the earth, To touch their harps of gold; “Peace on the earth, good will to men, From Heaven’s all gracious King.” The world in solemn stillness lay, To hear the angels sing. Yet with the woes of sin and strife... Continue Reading →

Let the regifting begin!

So our daughter has been saving her pennies for Christmas gifts -- a $2 rubber band ball for her brother (spot-on for the little inventor), a ballcap, perhaps, for dear old dad. She is too cute, so excited to give her hard-earned allowance for the thrill of making someone smile. Nicholas Cage and Bridget Fonda... Continue Reading →

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