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… the silence
Holds with its gloved hand
The wild hawk of the mind.

This fragment from Welch poet R.S. Thomas’ composition The Untamed speaks of the tension between thinking and doing, and stillness. The busyness of preparing for Christmas with the purchase of gifts, preparation of special foods, and the decking of halls and doors and trees may overwhelm the need to rest in the season of expectation.

I recall a book the Women’s Community discussed in its early days: Unplug the Christmas Machine. We each decided to give up something we ordinarily did for the holidays. I gave up making Christmas cookies.

My family was not immediately pleased, but the moment passed and no one seemed to miss them. Making choices between what we’ve always done and what we love doing may free up time in which to simply rejoice and be glad.

A retired member of the staff of All Saints Church, Anne Peterson continues to consult with our Leadership Project.