So I went to six stores, plus of course a full day at the one where I work, and still got home in time for dinner. I was able to get an item I could not find here by the simple expedient of calling #2 daughter and asking her to pick it up when she went into the city. I have finished my holiday shopping. I ordered the meatitude (meat and cheese tray) from the local butcher and the sweetitude (Buche de Noel) from the local baker, and we will pick those up on Christmas Eve. We will also have to get some fresh fruit and veg on that trip as well. Otherwise, I’m through.

Now, if I were to do the Awareness and Accountability thing in the style of Bridget Jones for the week, I would have to put it like this:

gym visits: 3
average servings of vegetables eaten per day: 2
average cookies eaten per day: 3
nights of interrupted sleep because of excessive thinking about to-do list: 3
number of critical errors made in mysterious craft project on account of trying to work on it while exhausted: 1

It could be worse.

Actually, it’s rather fun to write that way, so I could also add

conversations with friends on the importance of proper perspective and spiritual focus during Advent: 3
conversations with customers about how busy and stressed they are: eleventyhundred
conversations with customers in which they recommended books to me: 2 (Sister of my Heart and The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs)

Here is a song for today: “When Came in Flesh the Incarnate Word.” You will not be amazed to hear that this pretty Advent hymn is hardly ever found in hymnals and practically never sung. The title is such a stumbling block. And then it contains the words “breast” and “bosom,” always a problem for modern singers. In fact, let me just give you one verse here:

“When comes the Savior at the last,
From east to west shall shine
The awful pomp, and earth aghast
Shall tremble at the sign.”

For us in the 21st century, just disentangling this enough to realize that it is “the awful pomp” shining “from east to west” is bad enough, and then we have to figure out that the earth is aghast and trembling. And then we’re supposed to contemplate awful shining pomp and aghast earth while we drink our eggnog? Forget it!

But the tune, attributed to the wonderful Purcell, is so pretty that you should at least have a chance to listen to it. Perhaps someone could translate it into Finnish for us so that we could sing it without having to say “virgin’s breast” and “burst the grave.” One or the other, after all, but both in one song? It’s a bit much.

The big news here today is that #2 daughter is coming home for Christmas. Tonight! Pretty exciting. In fact, I will offer you a second song in honor of this event; “How Great Our Joy!” This song has simple and pleasant words, including the very cool refrain “Joy! Joy! Joy!” on an ascending scale with an echo, which everyone can sing with gusto, and little children particularly like.