This movie contains what may be the only nude knitting scene in a major motion picture. It also has an amusing use of music. They sing one hymn — “Jerusalem,” which has an intriguing background — over and over. But then they rag it up in the background as the plot thickens.

Last night at Bible study we sang “Away in a Manger.” This was a little shocking for me and Partygirl. Her priest gives parishoners what-for if they have any sign of Christmas showing before December 20th. I’m not that strict, but singing a Christmas carol before Thanksgiving is a little unseemly. In rehearsal, yes, but this was in public.

Then we sang “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and the speaker made her point. In our culture, we prefer Jesus to be as he is in “Away in a Manger” — quiet in a manger, not bothering us or interfering with our Christmas shopping. We prefer a God who loves us not just with divine love, but with silent tolerance for all our little ways. In fact, we could just skip Jesus completely and go with angels, which have become something like fairies to us — supernaturally cool things that watch over us, guard us, take care of us, without making any demands on us. They look great on our cards and trees and have no effect on our lives.

That’s fine if you celebrate Christmas as a secular occasion. But if you are a Christian, she said, then your preparations for Christmas should include meditation upon the Holy Trinity.

So, this week I have finished knitting three Christmas presents, gotten two batches of holiday goodies into the freezer (I should manage another today), bought the fabric and pattern for my black performance clothes, completed the applique and piecing and most of the embroidery for the Thanksgiving table runner, and done a little minor holiday shopping. I have also gone to work and to the gym and rehearsals and been a wife and mother. But I have not meditated upon the Trinity at all.

Here is a detail of the table runner. I hope you can see the sinuous curves of the embroidered vines.

At the store, we are easing into Christmas. We mostly wait until after Thanksgiving, but we have the merchandise out in a modest way. So yesterday a lady saw a stocking I had made as an example and asked me to get the kit out for her. “Is one enough?” I asked. “Oh,” she laughed, “we’re Jewish, so one is probably too much.” We agreed that a stocking wasn’t a very religious item. Neither is anything else we’re spending our time on, those of us who are preparing for the holidays now. We’re cooking, cleaning, baking, shopping, and decorating — most of us — way more than we are meditating.

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