Christmas and Mercy

Everyone deserves mercy (even those I-had-a-hard-life-so-you-should-too trolls). Sometimes it comes as strong and happy as Brittney Griner walking towards USA officials, sometimes it is as small as your 1pm meeting being canceled.

But you deserve it. Never forget that – and never forget that mercy does come. Sometimes it feels mercy is late, but it will arrive.

And when mercy puts in an appearance, remember that you deserve it.

I was looking at a new and astonishingly large selection of chutneys in the grocery store when a British man walked up to the display, said “chutney” very softly to himself, reached his hand out a little, then looked over at me and pulled his hand back. I quickly turned and walked away. Let him have his magic moment with the chutney. Let him stare in wonder, grab 42 jars, haul it all home and have gorgeous chutney and cheese feasts for the next few weeks. I am sure he deserves it. Sometimes the grocery store has sardine candy-canes (no, LuLus, you are still not forgiven) and sometimes the chutney fairy descends and loads the shelves with spiced apricot relish and you find your will to live again.

One friend had a brutal fall, then something wonderful and totally unexpected happened; after weeks of searching and doubt she found the perfect house in good condition at much less than she expected. She called me to ask, “This?! Do *I* deserve this?” Yes, my dear, as sure as there is Santa Claus, you deserve this.

And sometimes mercy isn’t getting something – it’s letting something go. Darling, I recall once when I was a mere tot, I went to a musical with my cherished mama. The play was badly done and at the intermission, she looked at me and said, “let’s go home and read books.” I didn’t KNOW you could simply leave a play that you had paid to see. That lesson is so useful – sometimes compassion appears in what doesn’t happen.

Every year, Laurence (my friend who died this fall) and I would go to a holiday party put on by one of the local hotels and this December I have been dreading the event. Do I go and feel horrible in missing him and his funny comments about the decorations? Or do I stay home and feel horrible that I am missing out? In talking about this with a friend who is not Christian, she volunteered to go with me. That night I called the hotel to find out the day of the party and discovered that the party had taken place the day before – I had missed it. Such benevolence from the universe!

The party was over – the decision was made for me. I did not have to worry about sobbing amidst the fake pine boughs while fake snow whirled in the air or mopping about my living room and thinking of Christmases past.

I have had my share of Christmas mercy and Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, will have theirs as well.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Holding Onto Your Christmas Joy in the Face of Legions of Trolls

Yes, Virginia – Proper Behavior at Christmas Time

Christmas in the Middle East – STRÅLA and Sardine-flavored Candy Canes

Holiday Gift Guide for Darling People