Ho ho ho dammit

how-the-grinch-stole-christmas2

It’s been a weird lead up to Christmas here in AGMAland.

After going away to Germany and France last year in December, I swore that I’d never go away right before Christmas. Things just were too hectic; too discombobulated.

No time to do Advent devotionals or meditate on the the true meaning of Christmas. Ohmmmmm…

The Christmas tree went up late, the baking was done late and there were no AGMA holiday cards sent.

So naturally we decided to go away again this year right before Christmas.

We got home from Australia on 12/1, but we might as well have gotten back last week.

Over the past 2 weeks, I’ve hung 4 wreaths, put 4 fake poinsettia plants around the house, and put my 1964 scary stuffed Santa out. The under the tree manger set-up is still in our attic. Our artificial tree has been up for a week or so, sans decorations. I finally got around to hanging some ornaments on it last night.

Three days before Christmas.

Unheard of.

AGMA’s jumping on the minimalist bandwagon this year and have a minimally decorated home and tree. After 40+ years of Christmas decorating, we have tons of house decorations and a sh*tload of ornaments. That all takes time to unpack, unwrap, hang, then take down and wrap up again in a week to store away for next year.

Basically, I’m being lazy.

I also did all my baking yesterday. AGMA’s Christmas baking consists of three types of cookies so it’s really not as labor intensive as it sounds. It just takes time to roll each one of those little damn cookies in the nuts.

I was drinking spiked eggnog all night so it all worked out.

I don’t normally wait to do all this stuff only a few days before Christmas.

Old AGMA would have been going crazy waiting so late. Decorating the house and tree, and doing the baking were essential to have a successful Christmas. At least I thought so.

It really didn’t seem to have much to do with what it all means.

No wonder I felt let down deep inside. My family couldn’t see it, but it was there. Emptiness where there should be an abundant overflowing of fullness. Sadness when there should be joy beyond measure.

AGMA was kind of a AGMess.

But this year’s different. This year I get it. Again. I got it for a while as a child and teenager, and then when I was in my 40’s. But I lost it to time, life, circumstances…

Two very different things have helped me in my “rediscovery” of the babe in a creche.

#1 – Donald Trump. Weird right? It’s a very long story and I’m not even sure I can explain it. And I feel pretty sure you wouldn’t want me to try. AGMA has a tendency to blather.

But in the midst of the incredible hate and corruption and greed and danger that this unpresident elect and his evil hench people represents to humanity, I feel the movement of the incredible power of Love.

I see the face of a young middle eastern brown man with gnarled hands from woodworking with gentle, slightly sad eyes, and a heart that is both human and divine.

I hear this young man say, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who insult you and persecute you,” I also hear him say, “Blessed are the peacemakers, the meek, those who mourn, the merciful, the poor in spirit…” And finally, I hear him whisper to my heart, “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

#2 – Ken. Ken was a good friend of mine at my church. He was a big man in his 50’s who went through a dark valley of alcohol and drug addiction for 25 years and came out on the other side injured, but alive.

He always had a smile for everybody and always called me beautiful.

AGMA liked that.

I have never met anybody who lived a more anti-Trump lifestyle. He was a man living on a meager disability income, yet who would take somebody living in poverty to Walmart and buy his groceries. He was devoted to the care of his 80 something mother. He drove people who didn’t drive to their doctor appointments. He recorded magazines and circulars for the blind – he had a great voice. He served weekly at our church’s Saturday dinner for the homeless. He lived his life serving others in gratitude for his own salvation from his dark night of the soul. What little he had, he gave gladly from his heart.

Like I said, the anti-Trump.

Ken died suddenly last week. It was his heart.

And my heart is broken. I’m still in shock.

I have it from people who are in the know that his last words were to tell his mom he loved her. That was so Ken…

The day I found out Ken had passed, I made him a promise. I promised to love more. Not only love more, but love with wreckless abandon like he did, not holding anything back. To love without regard to merit or status or color or nationality or religion or politics.

To try to love as I am loved, as the whole world is loved, by the child in the manger.

The child who grew up to be the young middle eastern brown man who taught Ken to give everything in the name of Love.

And I’ve felt that Love coursing through me. It’s really indescribable. And amazing.

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!”

With thanks to Dr. Suess…

Grinchy AGMA says may Love fill your home this holiday season!

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33 thoughts on “Ho ho ho dammit

  1. Merry Christmas AGMA! Awesome post. I think I’ll reblog it if you don’t mind. It resonated in my heart, the one that is getting caught up again in the negative FB posts and feeling the weight of insecurity and disappointment and anger every minute I spend there. Thanks for dragging me out with your beautiful post! Warmest Regards to you and yours AGMA!

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    • Thanks so much! It was the best Christmas in a long time (except for making dinner which is another post…) 🙂 And I hear what you’re saying about the insecurity, disappointment and anger – I’ve been struggling with them this past week! I just keep trying to focus on Ken and his kind, giving and loving spirit! Hope you’re Christmas and New Year was beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for such an honest, moving post. Ken led by example and my hope is that others, besides yourself, will follow his path of kindness. I understand the Trump thing; he is the antitheses of what we believe to be good and true, and it is up to us, like Ken did, to fight for a little more goodness.

    Have a joy-filled Christmas!

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    • Thank you so much! Christmas was lovely!! My prayer for all of us for 2017 is that if we all can, individually fight for a little more goodness and love in the the world, this it will overpower the dark forces that seek to divide and separate us. Happy New Year!

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    • Thanks Dookes! I pray we can all spread that love in the blogging community! And there was peace in my heart even if there wasn’t peace in my kitchen… But then that’s another post! Ha! Hope your Christmas and New Year was beautiful in your lovely part of England!

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  3. After reading the first part of this post, I was inspired to tell you that I think you are not only aging gracefully, but wisely, too. IDK how old Ken was but how he lived his life, before his recent untimely death, certainly set a good example for you and all of us in aging gracefully and wisely, no matter what age we may actually be at the moment. And, in an attempt to give you a bit of a chuckle, I’ll have you know that this old fart, who has never experienced the wonders of How The Grinch Stole Christmas in any way, shape or form, will have two versions available for viewing in the next week or so. This can now be checked off my bucket list, even if it was not there before!

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    • I’m dying to know… What did you think of the Grinch?

      And you are too sweet and too kind with your comments – thank you. Some days it doesn’t feel like I’m aging graceful or wisely at all! These last few days I’ve gotten back into social media and it’s just so discouraging at times. And it sometimes brings out the worst in me. I’ve been trying to focus more on Ken and his great love for even those who did him wrong and took advantage of him. To me, that is a love that can only come from Spirit and I need to be wayyyy more open to that! Again, thank you, thank you for your lovely comments!

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  4. Beautifully expressed. Maybe something good will come out of this nightmarish election. Maybe the rest of us will recoil in horror at the blatant greed and hatred that we are seeing on a daily basis.
    Maybe we will realize that we can’t change the election, but we can change ourselves and we CAN spread love and caring and kindness.
    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend Ken.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for bringing the meaning of Christmas right into my being today. I was thinking this morning, I felt like I was missing it all. I too traveled early this month, just got our tree up last Friday, watched no Christmas shows, no Advent readings, no Christmas baking. Thank you for reminding me – it’s about Love. About bringing love and light into the world, every day. Love and light to you – this Christmas and the whole year ahead!

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    • Thanks for your beautiful comment Pat! I had a crazy week last week so didn’t get onto WordPress, but I think I was meant to wait until today to read peoples comments again and answer. I really, really need them today and need the reminder that we ARE to bring love and light into the world every day (not just on the good days!) I keep asking Ken to keep me focused on that! Love and light back at you! 🙂

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  6. Found this shared by a fellow blogger. You made me cry. My heart grew three times it size reading about Ken. I hope Ken felt at least a tenth of the love he showed. Even a tenth of a kingdom is love enough. Merry Christmas and good thoughts to all.

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    • Welcome to AGMA and thanks so much for your comment! It touched my heart. I hope that Ken knew he was loved as well… But he seemed to be filled with a special kind of Love that gave him his purpose and energy so that he was sort of self-sustaining lover of humankind!

      Thanks so much for stopping by! And now that the holidays are over, I hope to get back to posting once a week again so pop in again!

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  7. A beautiful Christmas post, AGMA. Those messages of love can come from the most unexpected places, but they do arrive. Sorry about your loss. Ken was another messenger, and it’s so important that you appreciated him. Merry Christmas.

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  8. made me smile… the festive season always comes with its own set of expectations. a season of joy, and giving seems more like a chore due to being bogged down by responsibilities. Need to be more open…

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  9. I went through the same thing this year. Normally I love Christmas, I put the tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving and push my husband to get the lights out; but this year it was all different for some reason that I can’t explain. At first I thought it as because it actually sunk in that my kids are adults off living in places that I would normally never go to. But maybe it really is love.

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    • Or it could have been a mix of both… And maybe one leads to another. Once I stripped away (or was forced to strip away) the “expectations” of Christmas that I held for so many years, this year, I finally I got it. Ken was a big part of that. It’s a journey… Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  10. Beautiful post, AGMA. Forgive me if I see Ken’s hand in a typo though–or maybe a certain middle eastern brown man’s. “Wreckless abandon” was a welcome nugget in your pile of gold, as it suggests a certain promise in giving in to love. The path of love is clear, it says, and if you abandon your fears to follow love, if you are reckless, then He will protect you from wrecking on your way. Amen.

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    • Wow! And you are brilliant in making me look like I was using clever, spiritual wordplay when I was just living up to being a “C” English student in high school! But I will have to say that you gave me goosebumps… Thank you for your beautiful thoughts on my “mistake” (that really wasn’t a mistake!)

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