Getting into the Spirit of the Thing

Getting into the Spirit of the Thing December 20, 2020

I’m over at Stand Firm this morning.

This was a fun thread—a Muslim anthropologically observes his roommates coping with Christmas (and gets into the spirit of the thing himself). They decorate a tree, and work on the menu, and argue about whether or not you can stuff your own stocking. As usual, many tweeters came on to correct this person for his inarguably prescient reflection on the way Americans approach this holiday, plus some obligatory accusations of anti-Semitism, and the backlash of people congratulating him for being right and encouraging him to ignore the haters. Honestly, the comments are peak 2020.

And so was me beating down the crowds out shopping yesterday. With a thousand feet of snow being carted out in big trucks, none of us were supposed to go anywhere, but we all did anyway. I use the word “all” in a technical sense, because it really did seem like the entire state of New York was trying to fit itself into the Vestal TJ Maxx all at the same time. I languished in a long line behind someone with a cart heaped high with clothes and shoes. She rummaged through it as we moved in our glacial way towards the register, taking things out and sending them away with the person in line with her, adding other items from the jumbled and over-stuffed checkout labyrinth, changing her mind again and again. I tried to keep well back while also peering at what she was putting in and taking out. Frankly, I like a mask because I’m able to hide my morbid curiosity in the name of covid. Another year and she would have been able to see me trying to see her.

“Arise, O Lord, and go to your resting place! You and the ark of your might!” cries the Psalmist this morning.

“This is my resting place forever,” the Lord responds, “here will I dwell, for I have desired it.”

It’s a lovely pairing with the Annunciation in Luke, the traditional reading for the last Sunday of Advent. I particularly like it because, once Mary got the shocking news, I imagine the last word she would have used to describe her life would have been “restful.” On the contrary…read the rest here!


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