Finding Christmas

The animals trail in the back pasture appears with the morning frost. But like the stars, it’s always there, I just can’t always see it.

I’ve dropped off clothes and blankets in the clothes bin, but I’ve never been inside the American Legion Hall which is just up the road from the farm.

Today I walked into the front doors and there were about 10 women setting the long tables with red and green tablecloths, and napkins.  Sara (who designs my postcards and posters) was drawing a Christmas mural on a big blackboard, and  four or five women were busy in the kitchen on the other end of the hall.

I had two small containers of Brown sugar cookies that I’d made the day before.  Growing up I used to bake too many Christmas cookies, but I haven’t baked a cookie in almost 20 years.  I don’t have a mixer so I creamed the butter by hand which left it lumpy in the batter.  They weren’t the prettiest cookies, but they tasted good.

Bliss was also there.  She’s a kind of unofficial matriarch of the town.  If there is something happening in the community, Bliss is sure to be a part of it. I handed off  the cookies and said we’d be back  tomorrow.

Jon and I will be delivering Christmas meals to five households in and around  Cambridge.

I had heard of the meal delivery program before, but had no idea how to be a part of it.  This year it dropped in my lap when I saw a call for volunteers in The Front Porch Form, a kind of online community newspaper.

On the way out of the Legion I passed a woman carrying a big cardboard box filled with cookies.   All the desserts for the dinners are donated.  My small batch of cookies won’t go far, I thought, I’ll make more next year.

What’s it like in there? Jon asked when I got back to the car.

I described the hall, and the women working together to get ready for tomorrow dinner.   “I wanted to stay and help,” I said.

But Jon and I have tickets to see the new Leonard Bernstein movie, and some work to do before we leave. “Next year.” I said to Jon, “next year we’ll help out.”

Something to look forward.  Being a part of something good, instead of dreading the Christmas season.

I feel like this year I’m finally free for Jon and me to find our own kind of Christmas.


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