The Twelve Days of Christmas #occupyXmas

Posted January 6, 2015 @ 4:27pm | by Tripp

Over the Christmas holiday, I decided to post for all twelve days on Facebook. The posts were prayers of sorts, meditations meant for my benefit and the benefit of anyone else who grokked what was going on. Spouse and I made a sojourn back home to Virginia. It's rare for us to be able to spend the entire twelve days together much less together with family. So, it seemed important to mark it somehow. As others appeared to enjoy them as well, I thought I would share them all here.


1Let's see...shrimp sautéed in butter and Old Bay, stuffed mushrooms, country ham, a metric ton of shortbread cookies, ginger bread, a visit from Old Saint Nick, good conversation with family about the sublime and mundane...yeah. That's a good start to the holiday. It's the first day of Christmas. Merry Nativity, y'all!

We're just getting started.

Food is the thing. It is memory. Our families have this in common. People cook. Men. Women. Children. We cook for one another. Christmas is twelve (or more) days of sharing and tasting and preparing and feasting. Today was day one with a few good days to warm up.

I am excited by what may be yet to come. Merry Christmas, Facebookistan. Be excellent to one another.


2Good morning from Lynchburg, VA. Last night's seafood feast was astounding. There's a reason we do this only once a year. Oy. Today will be a low key day of hanging out with my mom. Perhaps a movie!

It's still Christmas!

Pondering a great many things this evening such as yogurt covered pretzels, extra cheese on my pizza, Lynchburg's need for a progressive seminary, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Hydrating this Christmas evening.


3The clouds are pink as the sun rises over Lynchburg on this third day of Christmas. Today we will have lunch with friends and then we'll slide back over to Huddleston to see some family. It's a great joy to be so near to family even if just for a short while.

Good morning, Facebookistan.

The third day of Christmas was charming and fun. Yes, Patricia and I explored a little more of Lynchburg (Bikram yoga what now?) and enjoyed lunch with Todd and Emily. Then it was time with Janet, Adam, Amanda, and the girls. Snuggling with Skylar is a joy. We swung by to see Grandma Agnes (age 93) and then met the gang at Amy and Jeremy's for dinner. A full and gracious day. It is still Christmas.

Good night, Facebookistan. Be excellent to one another.


4Up before the sunrise this fourth day of Christmas. I have brought homework with me, you know. Yesterday was a day for Mary Collins and her liturgical profundity. Today I am happily juxtaposing John Zizioulas and James White as I prepare for the last timed exam of this process. So...

Pondering: ecclesiology, liturgy, and American roots music

Listening: Dom Flemons, Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn, and Apollo's Fire

The fourth day of Christmas has been a day of movies and comfort food. Mom is a gracious hostess. Lynchburg, a kind town. Now, to bed, Facebookistan. Be excellent to one another.


5On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me MORE SHEPHERD'S PIE...leftover crab fritata, good egg nog, crunchy chex mix, and a ham biscuit with some jelly.

Pondering: food and Christian materialism, hedonism and its many rewards, Zizioulas' Trinitarian anthropology (communion, you know), and how to write about music mo' betta.

Listening: to the rain fall here in Lynchburg's Boonsboro wooded confines

The eve of the sixth day of Christmas means we leave Lynchburg tomorrow to go to Doswell. There will be a stop in Lovingston along the way. Maybe Charlottesville as well. I am excited to see Daddy, Judy, and Carson but very sad to leave Mom and all the Austin kith and kin. O Christmas, you are a whirlwind.

Good night, Facebookistan. Be excellent to one another.


6I am in my pajamas because sixth day of Christmas. Those persnickety geese are up to no good once again. They misbehave. Honkers.

But this is just one day of the Twelve. Today we rent a car and drive to the Doswell countryside. Rolling hills and old farm houses will mark our way. This is the Old Dominion after all.

Sitting by the fireplace on the sixth night of Christmas listening to doo wop, Elvis, and Dom Flemons, while my family talks about Miazaki (Howl's Moving Castle) and K Drama. The night is cold. There has been chili, cornbread (the bread of my people), and cupcakes. Daddy has promised grits for tomorrow's brunch. Feeling grateful.


7Make compassion your guide and sympathy your companion. When bitterness grows from remorse, and it will from time to time, turn to your guide and companion. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind. Be good.

Today is the seventh day of Christmas. The sun has risen above the frosty fields of Hanover county. The baby was kicking last night. Daddy will be making breakfast. I can smell the coffee.

Have a great day, all. Merry Christmas.


8The sunlight is bright through the trees. I can hear the clock ticking and my father trying not to awaken the rest of the house. The bed is soft and warm. Someone in Berkeley will need to ship my books to Virginia.

Last night's feast still lingers in my memory. I'll hold the company and the hospitality in my heart.

Merry eighth day of Christmas, y'all.


9On the ninth day of Christmas the winding down begins. The feasting may be done but The Season is not. We will renew some old friendships today.

The sojourn to Virginia has been remarkable and I am more grateful than I can express. My mind is spinning with all we have been given to consider. But we're just winding down. That is all. I'm going to retreat to the porch.

Deep breaths, all. Christmas is far from over.

A quick jaunt to RVA
To see old friends brought us to
Dot's with Scott and a happy
Run-in with Jim "Pa" Smith-Parham.
There was cocoa with Shenandoah
at Can Can of Carytown.
The trip to Richmond Hill meant
Ben and Annie time but the bonus
Was Haley and John who we
Know from Berkeley. Goodness,
But the mischief was deep and
Wondrous to behold. So was
the tomato pie. Again, much
To consider.

Christmas, day nine. Amen.


10It amazes me how long a twelve day season truly is. There's something about paying attention to All The Things, you know, that helps stretch the perception of time (while intense focus can have the opposite effect).

This morning finds me wishing for more time, of course.

There is simply never enough time in spite of eternity's claims. I am too aware of the end of the season. Day ten, you are a hard one.


11It is the Second Sunday of Christmas, the Season's eleventh day, and I am churching at the kitchen table of good friends. The Vigil began late last night with conversation and coconut cake. This morning's Table Meal includes oatmeal and strong coffee. There are two little girls running about the apartment crashing into furniture and giggling. Spouse and I cannot help but wonder what our lives will be like when Mixtape is the same age. Tonight we fly back to California.

It is the eleventh day of Christmas and I have been given the kind gift of wonderment.

Merry Christmas, all.


12Today is the Twelfth Day of Christmas. Tomorrow is Epiphany, a day of enlightenment, astonishment, and other such gifts. I am writing this as we prepare to board a flight across the country to return to Berkeley. I am aware of many gifts of friendship and love this morning. On this the last day of Christmas I am especially grateful for my friends and my family, for the rare opportunity to spend the entire holiday with my wife, and for simple acts of generosity.

Merry Christmas! Berkeley, here we come.

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