holidaze

This tree farm is off the Blue Ridge Parkway – I passed it on my way home on Thanksgiving weekend, and nearly pulled off to buy a real live tree. In the end, I kept driving, and chose instead to drag the pre-lit fake tree down from the attic and “fluff” the branches.

I bought that tree my first winter in Charlottesville, and kept the decorations simple with silver and white balls – a few break each year, and they’re starting to lose their sheen. The star I bought initially was too heavy – and might be too heavy to stay upright on any tree – so I found a smaller one, which also falls over regularly. I usually make a paper chain to add some color and whimsy.

And then there are the candy canes. I bought a pack of 32 candy canes yesterday morning. I put 32 candy canes on the tree. I am afraid to count them again at this point, because I’ve probably taken at least 4 already. Staring at them right now – and talking about eating them – is going to test my willpower.

I helped with music in church this morning, and we sang nothing but Christmas hymns. It’s often difficult for me to understand hymns – the old-fashioned phrases seem drastically removed from my modern life. I have grown to appreciate their depth, but it often takes much repetition before I can fuly translate. (Also, if you remember my pesky resolution to read more poetry, I can appreciate something without necessarily enjoying it.)

There was a new-to-me hymn this morning, which we probably sang a dozen times during rehearsal (the melody was just a bit tricky), but that last time we sang it, during the service, I finally noticed the words, and wanted to STOP! EVERYTHING! so I could sit down and process the words.

Which, what do you know, I can do now, thanks to this annoying daily-blogging-I-don’t-have-anything-to-talk-about-anyway-grumble-grumble.

Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becomes poor.

Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest man.

Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.
Emmanuel, within us dwelling,
Make us what thou wouldst have us be.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.

— Frank Houghton (1894-1972)

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