In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?

* C.S. LEWIS, J.R.R. TOLKIEN, SHERLOCK HOLMES, G.K. CHESTERTON, N.D. WILSON, AND P.G. WODEHOUSE, ARE ENCOURAGED

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{snippets and brief notes penned among the flurry of November days as we usher in winter, with its festive sparkle and season of hope}

{It is really properly snowing out today. Big, fluffy, swift-floating flakes settle on everything. Even the grass doesn’t melt them away anymore. Each car and house has a fuzzy little snow-layer, the air is thick and full. It’s the kind of snowfall that is an adornment for the world. November’s jewelry suspended in the air.11-3}


{This morning I drove straight toward the beaver moon in the full dark of early morning. A few weeks back I opened the back door upon a brilliant Orion, courageously shining out of the night sky over my city.11-4}
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This is a season of bright hope and warm expectancy, and as such I feel that it should be neither postponed nor hurried. In fact, I find that easing into the season's celebratory preparation a bit early gives rather more time for reflection and appreciation than less. The fact that there is so much hype and commercialization of the Christmas season, I believe to be a reason in favor of an early start. Giving yourself ample time for a slow and methodical savoring of the season. Not plunging in to every aspect at once, even after Thanksgiving; but pulling out bit by bit, the traditions and beautifications and festivities, in order to surround yourself with reminders of the glorious hope that is ours.

As some of you know, I begin with the first snowfall to welcome winter and joyous tidings all around. Out comes Charlie Brown, and with those first notes of O Tannenbaum, I am enveloped in memory, inspiration, and the festive spirit. But I don't go crazy. I begin to wear fair-isle, and perhaps a red scarf. I bake gingerbread, and start to make gift lists. On deer-hunting opener weekend, I rummage through the storage room and emerge (finally) with the Christmas decorations for just my bedroom. And over the next week I slowly clean and arrange. 

My early morning commute changes tune, as I finish the Fellowship of the Ring just in time, and began November with 'Shepherd's Abiding'. This Jan Karon novel, filled with the joys and preparations of the season, begins in October; so one doesn't feel as if we've jumped the gun. But is filled with the joyous spirit, the busy and the methodical, the glad anticipation and child-like wonder. Of course with my volume of driving, I'm through it in a few weeks, leaving time for my favorite Christmas CDs, a bit of listening to the radio; time for prayer, thinking, brainstorming, and the like. I've ordered the Dark is Rising through Overdrive so that long about January, when it's available again I can listen to it!

It is a time to prepare the mind for Advent so that you don't feel so distracted when the first of December rolls around. Posts like these, are particularly good at reminding me of what matters and what fills me with joy. Luke and Psalms and Isaiah, as well as poetry and other literature, awaken the soul and help me to feel, remember, sing.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, snowflake-making commences, and decorating the work-place begins. Plans for Friendsgiving get under way to the sound of mellow Christmas jazz. Lists are begun and then checked seventy-twice. And my mind threatens to explode over the fulness of heart, plate, and schedule. Which means of course, that I must schedule, list, and plan in some rest time. That includes sit-downs with notebooks, evenings to do nothing, closeted devotions and contemplation, yoga, baths, possibly some dancing, and some leisurely cooking of Good Food.

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“In this story, the sun moves. In this story, every night meets a dawn and burns away in the bright morning. In this story, Winter can never hold back the Spring… He [God] is the best of all possible audiences, the only Audience to see every scene, the Author who became a Character and heaped every shadow on Himself. The Greeks were right. Live in fear of a grinding end and a dank hereafter. Unless you know a bigger God, or better yet, are related to Him by blood.” 
― N.D. WilsonNotes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
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Cheers to this season of lights and Son come down!
Blessings upon your preparations, however it is going,
and may you find peace amidst the flurry.