Friday, December 20, 2019

In Which I Make The Effort

I know. I KNOW!
You all have the vapors now, right?
I mean, it's practically a nativity scene right there with Baby Jesus in the little carriage and the rocking horse taking the place of the peaceful donkey.
After I figured out that I could indeed pick up that tree and carry it into the house myself I had a pretty good time decorating it. I have the very few ornaments I need in one bag these days, and the little tree requires only one string of lights although I will say that it's rather amazing how much it's grown in the years since I bought it and put it on the hallway altar as my Christmas tree.

That's a little birchbark canoe that Mr. Moon made when he was in Boy Scouts with a very old Chinese couple whom I set in it and then perch in the branches to help us sail into the new year safely. Although this is completely my own ritual it brings me satisfaction. 
There are ornaments that the children made over the years and there is a baby ballet slipper and there are a few small vintage glass balls. 

I suppose I can admit that this all represents a bit of magic to me as does my probably forty-year old Nativity scene that I bought one single-mama Christmas at a department store which no longer exists. 

Hank set the Buddha behind the baby one year and since then, the little grinning fat man has always found his way to stand behind the manger, proclaiming with great joy and assurance that we are ALL the baby Jesus, all holy, all a part of the big lit electrical gestalt of it all, just as the donkey, the cow, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, even the gold, the frankincense, the myrrh and the hay lining the manger are. 
It is a sweet story, this tale of a baby born in a barn. Of course in my mind I add the scent of animal dung, a mother's blood, and amniotic fluid, the presence of a midwife and her assistant, the news of the baby born to a near-child and her older husband causing the women in the neighborhood to bring food and drink for the exhausted mother, clean cloths and hand-me-down clothes for the newly born infant. 
And that is how I've given the story my own perception of magic. The sights and sounds and smells and pain and eventual joy of human birth. 

There was so much I was going to do today. Wrap presents and finish Magnolia's nightgown, mainly. But instead I just did that little bit of Christmasing and took the trash and went to the post office and cleaned the poopy nests in the hen house. I washed the sheets and hung them on the line and made up the bed with the sundried sheets. I baked a loaf of bread.
And took a nap.

Tomorrow is the solstice. Perhaps I'll make cookie dough and see if any children want to come and help bake and decorate cookies on Sunday. 

I am certainly not filled with what we might call the Christmas Spirit, whatever the fuck that is, but at least I am not filled with resentment or pain. Not tonight. 
There is light in the darkness. And oh!

Let us not forget- Bad Mean Santa, keeping watch over the babe at night. 
And in the daytime too. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Coming here to read a new post is always like unwrapping a gift. I cherish my old ornaments and I’m crazy about seeing other people’s too always have been.

    ps That Santa jeeze louise!

    1. ps I seem to have lost two ornaments my son made in kindergarten one is on an old fashioned clothes pin I can’t find them anywhere and I am absolutely sick about it I know I wrapped them together and tucked them somewhere safe I hope. He is not happy about it either 😢

    2. Some of my ornaments are older even than the nativity scene. Each one that I put on the tree evokes something very deep and still very real.
      You will find those ornaments your son made. I know you will because you cherish them so much that you've somehow hid them from yourself. I thought today that I'd lost the canoe and the Chinese couple but they were packed separately in the bag with Jesus and Mary and Joseph, etc.
      That Santa is one of my favorite things. I got him at Goodwill years ago. Isn't he a darling axe murderer?

  2. I love the old ornaments. Some of mine date back to the late 50s early 60s. Some were lost to my step-mother, who did not want them and threw them away. That was unforgivable. But anyway, I cherish the ones I do have, which look a lot like yours. Buddha by the manger is a very nice touch.

  3. All the years my daughters were growing up with a single mother, we had a Norfolk Island Pine that we decorated. After the girls were in college, the neighbor boy who was always at my house came over, climbed into the attic, retrieved the box of decorations and put everything where it belonged. When I sold the last house, I left the box of ornaments to my sister's disposition. My brother in law was the tree decorator, and he didn't care for much of my box and didn't use them. He even pitched the gilded walnut shell I made in kindergarten. I lost Christmas long ago, and it's just as well.

  4. I love your decorations and all the lovely memories they bring. Our nativity set includes a small ceramic cat added by my son over 40 years ago. Like your Buddha it would not be complete without the cat.

  5. That looks very cozy and lovely. I hope you enjoy the holiday and your baking with the kids.

  6. I like your earthy take on the Christmas birth. No one ever thinks about how that manger must have smelled! And your stories about the ornaments show how that little annual reconnection with ritual can be significant. (Although our ornaments stayed in boxes this year!)

  7. I work with a doc who's muslim but his kids are born here and live in our culture. I was asking him if is kids are getting gifts this year, because you know they live in this culture. He said yes. I told him that Santa doesn't have a religion and I don't think he does.

    As for baby Jesus, I think he was a very good, kind person and that's good enough for me.

    I love the tree, it's beautiful. I think that this time of year is the season of light. The days are so short, we only get seven hours of sunlight right now, the lights make it much more bearable.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Wonderful Wednesday:)

  8. I knew you would get around to it. I did nothing yesterday but read and go feed my sister's cats. it was overcast, cold, and rainy. not enough rain to do anything any good but enough to make everything wet.

  9. Buddha in the nativity scene, perfect! Lovely that the Christmas spirit is swirling around you somewhat. Your home looks festive! You are the center of so many people's world, though I am quite sure you don't fully know that. Hugs, dear Mary.

  10. sounds like a good day, and much was accomplished. so you didn't discover the cure for ebola, so WHAT?

    I love the Buddha in the manger, so humorous and multicultural.

    What I wish for you this Christmas, is love and light from your family and friends, and from yourself to yourself. The Solstice is such a good time to reflect and renew.

  11. I bet you got that nativity set from Gayfers. I worked at the Springdale store for a couple of years. I was about 20 years old and was having the time of my life. If it didn't come from Gayfers you can disregard this comment. Love Gail

    1. Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!
      YOU ARE RIGHT! It was Gayfers. I still miss that store.


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