5 Quick Things #217 🕯
parades, bake-offs, commas, and TRADITIONS
I’ve got a piece in draft mode (I hope to share it with subscribers next week) about when online “communities” go too far — namely, when they flat-out replace our offline communities. This internet trend has been on my mind for months now, but it’s especially in my frontal lobe* this week because tonight begins our small town’s annual Christmas Stroll on the Square and I’m weirdly excited about it. My love language is introvert, and yet there’s something so endearing, so charming, so Gilmore Girls-ish about our historic neighborhood’s holiday tradition, where throngs of people stroll among lights, live music, craft booths, a block-long Bethlehem village, and a pretend Texas ice skating rink on wax.
Tomorrow morning the Christmas parade literally starts in front of our house, which means Kyle and I will sit on our front porch rocking chairs sipping our morning coffee while we wave at the bagpiper who kicks things off, then watch the senior ladies’ dance squad do their routine with folding chairs, the two high school marching bands play their tunes, floats from local businesses throw candy we don’t need in our yards — and I’m gonna love every hokey minute of it. And then I’ll need a giant nap.
*not how the brain works
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. 👉 New episode of A Drink With a Friend! 👈 Traditioooooooooon… Tradition! We all have them during the holidays, but why do they matter? We unpack the sacramentality of leaning into even our smallest of family traditions — they remind us we’re not alone, life is bigger than we are, and that we’re time-bound creatures made with a need for routine and rhythm. They’re anchors for our souls, especially when life is less than ideal.
2. I was a guest for Claire Swinarski (aka the Catholic Feminist)’s four-part audio series on Advent — here’s my episode with her.
3. “One thing that I almost never see in the current Discourse about evangelicalism is an acknowledgement by people who were raised evangelical that their upbringing might have provided something, anything to be grateful for.” A solid point.
4. When your childhood was poor and rife with struggle, how do you raise your middle-class kids? Esau McCaulley’s column is excellent: “I cannot help believing that my children have lost something: the determination born of suffering. I wish that I could give them that feeling.” (NYT)
Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 📺
“The place where babies are born, where men die, where the drama of mortal life is acted, is not an office or a shop or a bureau. It is something much smaller in size and much larger in scope. And while nobody would be such a fool as to pretend that it is the only place where people should work, it has a character of unity and universality that is not found in any of the fragmentary experiences of the division of labour.”
— G.K. Chesterton #
It’s Not Too Late… 🕯
Advent began last weekend, but it’s never too late to just jump in and enjoy it, whenever you start. It’s just as this gentleman says:
If you haven’t yet, peruse my slow, steady, and approachable Advent guide, Shadow & Light. There’s always room at the table!
A Reminder 🎁
I’ve curated a holiday gift guide full of ideas that make fantastic gifts and support good businesses and makers:
As small businesses face shipping challenges, it’s up to us, the consumers, to “vote” with our dollars — when we buy online, let’s commit to shopping smaller. Let’s match our actions with what we say we want to see more of in the world.
Question For You to Ponder… 🤔
What was your favorite childhood holiday tradition?
Have a good weekend!