Fire up the theme song from Frozen if you must, just don’t ask me to sing along. It’s catchy but screechy.

Anyway, Frozen’s not why I’m here.

We could take a card from our heroin’s deck and sing a resounding chorus of “I’m never going back the past is in the past.”

Except the past seems to be frozen in the now.

Covid variants, everything is political, nothing is easy.

Weren’t we going to leave all of that behind in 2020?

Yet, here we find ourselves.

Here as in not quite where we thought we’d be…

And here as in, alive, hopefully well, maybe even gathering for some holiday cheer. Now that’s different than last year!

Grace is also, and always, here.

The non-religious kind.

The grace that allows us to be loved despite…

  • presenting with short tempered syndrome after the postal worker dared spend a minute chatting with the customer while you got hotter under that mask.
  • eye rolling — or worse, inviting our sharp tongue to join the party — when a partner, parent, or child dares to tell us that dinner will be fine without the beloved, traditional ham that sold out before you could order it.
  • running down the list of all the things we meant to do but didn’t, on a loop.

(Tell me I’m not the only one who went full blown short-tempered and eyes rolling…)

“Grace is love that seeks you out when you have nothing to give in return. Grace is love coming at you that has nothing to do with you.” Paul Zahl

There will be moments when we have nothing left to give, this season and every day. In the past — yesterday — I would have held on to my indignation around things I cannot change and don’t really matter because, well, because. (Stamps feet and pouts/)

Today I’m going with “Let it go.”

It’s my Christmas mantra because it’s that kind of year.

And because a long-awaited in-person Christmas is here! I don’t want to miss a minute of the visiting, eating, or laughter that I know is on its way as my family heads north.

All of this will soon be in the past. With a heaping helping of grace, the past we are creating will be full of the kind of memories we go back to when we have nothing left to give.

My wish for all of you, no matter what your holiday looks like, or even whether you celebrate at this time of year, is that you make the most of the grace that is always here. That you find a way to leave the past in the past. And that if you feel called to belt out a screechy rendition of your favorite song you will sing like no one is listening.

Merry Christmas to all,