I can't imagine why it has been so long since I've written. It could have something to do with the fact that the "i" key on my laptop is broken, so it is very irritating to type. I've tried all the standard techniques for getting the silly faceplate to remain on the key, but they are not working. A few words into any sentence, and off it pops. It's a pain. I mean, do you realize how many "i"'s are in this paragraph? There are 32.
But that is just an excuse, really. My Advent was not anything to write about. It was neither spiritually enriching in terms of preparing for the Birth of the Savior nor exciting in the conventional way of getting ready for "X-Mas". In fact, from the perspective of the new year, it seems like one long experience of flatness, of lack. No Christmas cookies were made. Chickadee #2 was begging throughout Advent to put up the Christmas tree. It went up on the Sunday before Christmas, which was a Wednesday. We didn't put up Christmas lights outside until the Friday after Christmas. Now it's the Feast of the Epiphany, and I feel almost as if the Christmas season has gone without having been noticed, except for the work. This is entirely my fault, and I am sorry for it. But perhaps it's something that I had to go through in order get to someplace better, and I do feel better now that 2014 is here.
There were some bright spots... Chickadee #2 and I sang in the Christmas Eve concert at our parish. It was a beautiful thing to share the gift of music with her. We both love to sing and it was fun to see her trying so hard and being so serious about it. She also had the role of "Angel of the Lord" in the pantomime that accompanied the reading of the Gospel. She was adorable as were all the children. Christmas Eve, or Wigilia, is the highlight of the year for my extended family on my mother's side. I have twenty-one first cousins on that side of the family (48 on the other -- at the very least, a tangential part of my DNA will endure). I loved seeing my cousins and their children and the feeling of warmth and love among people who have known me my whole life was wonderful, as usual.
But, all in all, it was not a great Christmas. A former classmate of mine wrote a column for Catholic Digest that captures my feelings better than I can. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in not always riding the happy train.