Thursday, December 19, 2013


bill brandt
parlourmaid and underparlourmaid ready to serve dinner.1933
Christmas afternoon I will lift the roasted radicchio aloft, swirl the butter for the flageolets au gratin, mince the black oil-cured olives for the tapenade, and slip four thyme-and-rosemary encrusted racks of lamb into the oven.

Yes, I'll be cooking. Meanwhile, my room is tricked out with so many lights, candles, and tinsel-draped icons that it could double for a minor grotto at Lourdes.

The pepper tree outside my window is dripping with festive pink berries.

The first camellias are in bloom.

The O antiphons are about to begin in Evening Prayer.

God came into the world as an exiled baby, a mentally ill person, a drunk.

Some of us--often the best of us--embody all three.


  1. Cooking? Brave soul! I could burn water.

    I'll be reading at the 6 pm Mass, lower church of my parish, on Christmas Eve. Other than that, plans are still un-fixed.

    Blessings of the season, HK, to you and to all your readers!

    And yes, the O antiphons: beautiful!

  2. Heather, this sounds like a marvelous Advent and making of Christmas day! Because my dearest friends are exiled mentally ill drunks, I like your last line, where you acknowledged Jesus as having entered the world as an embodiment of all three. That is not only beautiful but ever empowering!


I WELCOME your comments!!!