It’s that time of year when I am trying to get all my tasks corralled before the holidays: all those health insurance claims (a particular horror where I work, where you pay for everything up front and then tape all those paper receipts onto a piece of paper and copy them and then make a PDF with all kinds of bits and bobs in a certain order–it’s so maddeningly 1950s, with the exception of the Xerox-related aspects–so you can be partly reimbursed in a leisurely fashion); remembering to call the garage for an appointment to get the car inspection done, alas, already late; taking the girls to the vet so they can be solemnly allowed into the USA, after ensuring they are not, after all, ragingly rabid; stumbling across all those mysteriously unpaid bills–my favorite being the garbage pick-up bill, which is not sent to you in advance or on any kind of regular billing cycle, and is not definitely not available by direct debit, OH NO, because just think of the convenience!, and, turning to happier topics, getting ready for Christmas.
Today I hope to put out my crèche, with all my lovely santons. It is one of my favorite French traditions and makes me feel assimilated! Photos to come.
And I’ll be hanging–with luck; need to make sure I’ve got the needed hardware–my big Moravian star and my little Moravian garland, which I was so happy to find last weekend in Dresden. They seem to be still made by hand and in Germany, not China! That makes me feel very Winston-Salem-y and not at all France-assimilated. A serious touch of home.
That brings back memories of lovefeasts past, especially at Wake Forest, with its big and beautiful annual Christmas lovefeast, one of the loveliest services anywhere. And of my great friend Ed Christman, much loved and greatly missed. Just like with my Dad, I often think of things I want to tell him. Oh, the political conversations we could have had over the past year!
I can almost smell that heavy, heavy beeswax scent of those candles. I used to help cut the trim and wrap them for the lovefeast–hundreds, thousands?! of them. Never has a dorm room smelled so delicious.
Speaking of the Moravians, I have always loved many of their beliefs and traditions, but most especially their motto, which deserves especially to be remembered against our current shameful public discourse.