A Simple Life

My Faith in Rural Living is Restored

Every year our little town, population of 700 and something, puts up its ancient but nonetheless comforting Merry Christmas lights in front of our tiny downtown’s train tracks. Of course they go up right after Thanksgiving–which is way too early for my celebrating Advent before Christmas preference–so I just try to remember to rejoice that we actually live somewhere that keeps Christ in Christmas! In previous years I always remembered the various aging Christmas decorations around town going up at the same time, so it was much to my dismay that there was no life size Nativity scene next to our town’s quaint gazebo, which, unlike everything else around town, is of quite recent vintage. I felt really let down and considered talking to our mayor, a neighbor, about its absence.

But then, voila! As I drove home in the dark last night my eyes were drawn to it in all its lit up glory and there was great rejoicing; I actually burst out into Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” (This no doubt would have mortified or at the very least annoyed The Teen but probably amused The Husband, who has withstood my quirks for almost a quarter of a century.) Ahh, the balance of celebrating Advent in a society that begins the Christmas frenzy earlier every year was restored with this simple return of the most special family to ever live, the Holy Family.

As Bilbo says in the movie version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring,

“It is no small thing to live a simple life.”

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