Advent #4: Cold Days Before Christmas

December 20, 2022

By “cold,” I don’t only mean the temperature, which will soon be below zero, but also the lingering cold I have been fighting for two weeks. No, it isn’t COVID, and I am grateful for that, but who needs to be less than at top form on these days approaching Christmas. Besides, I love the Advent season –both the waiting and the preparing–and this limited energy is frustrating.

I have cancelled appointments and missed some special events, but I am keeping the prize in mind –Christmas with our family. Therefore, I’ve gone to bed early, slept later than normal, and napped when I felt the need. I’ve wrapped myself in a shawl and sipped hot cider flavored with a slice of dehydrated orange, and read more books than normal for December.

I have baked only a few loaves of cherry walnut bread and have not made any cookies. Sigh! However, missing those good smells, I made a simple simmering potpourri, which fills the house with the scent of comfort and welcome. My husband has done most of the wrapping (Bless him!) and I did the bows, and the presents are all in place.

Every Christmas is different and no one year is apt to be exactly the way you envision. Some years will be remembered more than others. I doubt any of us will forget last year when we spent Christmas Day on the patio because our grandson had COVID. He sat by the kitchen window, and we were able to watch him open his presents. Or there was the year when our granddaughter, who is now a sophomore in college, was only six weeks old, having arrived five weeks early. We all knew that would be my mother’s last Christmas, and it was.

We try to make each celebration perfect, but perfection comes when we accept and rejoice in what is. When we start from a place of gratitude and open our hearts to the love that is present, to all the ways we are held and beloved. When we remember that our task is not to fix the perfect meal or try to find the best present, but rather to live in the light of who we have been created to be.

I admit I hope to leave this cold behind by December 24 –preferably before then–but whatever happens, I know I will feel the warmth of those I love and who love me.

May these be days of warmth in your life.

An Invitation

Do you recall any Christmases that didn’t quite turn out as planned? I would love to know.

NOTE: Ingredients for Simmering Potpourri

Fresh or frozen cranberries
Orange slice
Fresh rosemary
Whole Star anise
Whole cloves
Whole allspice
Cinnamon sticks

Add 2-4 cups of water or apple juice. Simmer on the stove. Add more liquid as needed. 

10 thoughts on “Advent #4: Cold Days Before Christmas

  1. I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas and new year and hope that you will have got rid of your cold before your family celebrations.

    I love your posts; thank you for sending them to me.


  2. I’m sorry you’re sick right now. My cousin and her husband had to cancel our family Christmas Eve at their house due to them both having COVID. I have a few other friends who are sick right now, too. I like what you wrote about perfection. I struggle with that – and need to keep your words about acceptance and gratitude in mind.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely and comforting post! Thank you for writing and sharing in the midst of having a cold and Christmas preparation. I love the idea of perfection being what is, underlined with gratitude. It is our turn to have our 10 year old granddaughter this Christmas (we rotate with the in-laws) so I am already expecting a “perfect” Christmas. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope the Simmering Potpourri – Thanks for sharing it – brought warmth and cheer. Your counter top certainly has a really cheerful warm look…
    Not sure about Christmas’s not turning out as planned tho a few hat did not bring quite the cheer an joy that is an expectation – mostly the two after my mums passing in 2020 . This year I decided to enjoy the ‘secular’ activities that contribute to our pleasure and it has been a memorable Christmas . (I wrote about my thoughts on this ‘secular ‘activity under the title Mistletoe and Wine – Divine Reminders..)


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