Have Yourself a Silent Little PostChristmas

This day after Christmas was spent trying to “powerdown” from a very keyed-up couple of days. It boggles my mind that some folks step into the day after Christmas with the energy to keep up with headlines, or to go shopping or plunge right back into blogging, or head to the movies (that’s where my husband and son are, right now) but for me — and perhaps it’s because I’m an introvert — the day after Christmas requires the downtime, and the embrasure of a little silence.

Over at the Patheos landing page,
I invite you to join me in unwrapping a gift of silence:

In such a silence, if you have turned off the television and tempted your child away from his games with a good book, you can hear other things: the chatter and call of cardinals who have found the birdseed; the crack of a log in the fire; hot coffee being poured into a cup; the ticking of your last non-digital clock; the rhythmic breathing of tired child (or parent) who has dozed while reading; the soft thud of a book sliding to the floor.

You can hear life, forced into a slow-down; life less deliberate; life lived as it was for centuries, before the busy inventiveness of the last five decades: life acquiescent to uncontrollable nature, and hunkered-down.

We have allowed silence to become a gift forgotten, one we only consent to unwrap when all of our alternative bows and strings have been unraveled, and our diversions have been utterly played out. Our inability to be silent puts our minds and our souls at a disadvantage, because it robs us of the ability to wonder, and if we are not wondering at the impossible perfection of the world in its creation—if we are not wondering at spinning atoms and Incarnations—then we are lost to humility, and to experiencing gratitude.

And, without gratitude, we cannot develop a reasoned capacity for joy.

It was originally written for First Things, but you can read it all here.

Excuse me, now, while I head back to my couch and my silence and my new Kindle Touch, which is loaded with the Confessions of Saint Augustine and the delightful freebie Right Ho, Jeeves!. You all were exactly right. I totally love this brilliant little e-reader, and don’t know why I resisted for so long!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://seasonsofgrace.net Kathy Schiffer

    Happy Relaxing! (I see your computer calendar is off by a day.)

  • Teresa

    Yes relax. I received a Kindle as well. As a person who loves books I thought I would never like the Kindle. Boy was I wrong.

  • http://windowinthesky88.blogspot.com/ Nikita

    I caught up with my sleep actually today. Yeah, I did go shopping, but in the end I relaxed because I was spending time with my fiance. I have been thinking about getting either a Kindle or Nook, my fiance has a NookColor, but unsure what if I even want one. I do have both Nook and Kindle on PC though.

    God Bless,

  • dry valleys

    I haven’t got the chance to relax yet, my family are still in my face! (I am an introvert as well- an INTJ- so I do think things like that even if it would be considered rude).

    For a lot of people it’s sales time now, even within my short lifetime I’ve seen the date at which they begin sales brought forward from New Year to miliseconds after Christmas. So there’ll be a lot of people who are out there wildly consuming rather than relax.

    In what moments I have I will be enjoying this book I got, “On The Black Hill” (Bruce Chatwin). My two favourite presents are both things I requested when someone asked what I wanted. Is that allowed, or is it a breach of etiquette? :)

  • Nana

    Every Monday we are blessed to have 1:00 am-1:00 pm exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at our rural midwestern parish. There were a few who questioned whether anyone would show up yesterday, what with it being the day after Christmas & all: folks shopping, traveling, recuperating, etc. Well, it seems there were six parishioners who decided to share these two hours of their day after Christmas in His Presence…and three of them were children!
    Dear Lord, thank you for the opportunity to rest in your presence. We are truly, truly blessed.

  • Bruce in Kansas

    Silence? With ten children, a farm, and very sociable friends and neighbors, instead of silence, we’ve learned to sit and read amidst chaos. Someday we may have silence, but I wonder whether we’ll like it…

  • http://jscafenette.com/ Manny

    Power down? I have a two year old in the house. Plus don’t we have eleven more doays of Christmas? ;)

  • Susanne

    You captured the essence that gets lost in the way we have come to celebrate the season. I loved the article and have it saved not only on my computer but on paper too! Even ten minutes of “our” time given to meditation and prayer enters into “another” time that takes you out of this world and expands and lengthens like in Narnia. Thank you for the many articles and ideas you share.