[Written in response to the Christmas Day prompt, in the form suggested by the prompt.]
A warm Advent season, a warm Christmas Day. Birds – and squirrels – flock to the bird feeder outside our dining room window. Our two dogs prowl the deck outside the sliding glass door, ever hopeful for a leftover snack, while someone’s black and white cat sneaks along the porch railing. We gather at table. Mom worries about old age clumsiness. Woody worries about unexpected visitors. Adrienne worries about food too cold or too hot. Philip worries about his toddler eating a purple marker. Andi worries about Philip’s anxieties. Galen worries because he can’t hear very well. Mary Lou worries, just worries, always, as if it is her duty, or her privilege. Everyone happy, if not totally content. Everyone relaxed, if not totally at ease. Everyone pleased, if not totally sure of themselves. We are human, humans, individually and together, gathered on Christmas Day. Family incarnate. Love newborn and everlasting.
Emmanuel, God With Us. Even as I am thankful, I spare a little envy for the animals. For their uncomplicated self-love.