Advent Meditation by Amber Keister
As I thought about writing this blog post, I thought of all the intentional traditions our family performs. By mid-November Kevin is pulling together Christmas music for the annual holiday CD. In early December, he and the girls will set up the tree and decorate the house. On Christmas Eve, I’ll make the cinnamon pecan rolls that Kevin’s grandmother always made.
But this year, another kind of tradition caught me by surprise.
As we ate our Thanksgiving dinner, I watched Ginnie, my older daughter, pile turkey, stuffing, green beans and sweet potatoes on her plate. She poured gravy over everything and topped the pile with homemade cranberry relish. As she mixed everything slightly and began to eat, my younger daughter, Noelle, looked on with horror.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“It tastes better this way,” Ginnie replied. “Besides, it all goes to the same place.”
A wave of nostalgia hit, taking my breath for a moment. For these words have been spoken at countless holiday meals, going back into my dim childhood memory.
Whenever the family would gather, my grandfather would pile a bit of everything onto his plate — often topping meat, potatoes, vegetables and gravy with a slice of pie. A wiry, energetic man, he would then dig in with gusto. When the inevitable question came from one of his grandchildren, his eyes would twinkle, and he’d always reply with the same words: “It all goes to the same place.”
With his words, my daughter brought me the memory of those endless holiday meals, the food, the stories and the love. They also brought me a tiny bit of my grandfather, who passed away three years ago.
Whether intentional or accidental, big or small, I cherish these traditions. They allow us to remember those we have loved and to bring close those we love now.
During the season of Advent, daily meditations from members of the Pullen community are being posted online. Subscribe by email at www.pullen.org/category/meditation.