the mornings are cooler than last year,
and seasoned, white frosted,
darker than I remember,
or perhaps because this year we wake before the sun,
a good hour or two, 
(or three some days)

slowly walls and shelves
take on the festivities,
hands busily sewing,
baking, keeping a little one amused,
then quilting, stamping,
cutting, listing, humming,
tasting, laughing, sighing, 
napping, mess-making, 
and cleaning-up-afterwards too.

today we received our first christmas card
all the way from australia,
it was beautifully handmade,
and a little bitter sweet; 
to be reminded of how far away we are from our dear ones,
and yet, remembering,
the light of this season
is not simply the joy of good food,
pine, red trim and near kin -
but the gift of grace
of love divine,
of Him.