22 December – Ghost of Christmas present

Kitchen towels handwoven by Marilyn Webster, whimsyandtea.com, photo credit, Paige Green, paigegreenphotography.com

Exerpt from Thich Nhat Han, Peace is Every Step.

Each thought, each action in the sunlight of awareness becomes sacred. In this light, no boundary exists between the sacred and the profane. I must confess it takes me a bit longer to do the dishes, but I live fully in every moment, and I am happy. Washing the dishes is at the same time a means and an end–that is, not only do we do the dishes in order to have clean dishes, we also do the dishes just to do the dishes, to live fully in each moment while washing them.

What is one thing you can do right now to make this moment more present to you?  Got any dishes to do?

How does this writing prompt advent calendar work?
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5 Responses to 22 December – Ghost of Christmas present

  1. suki60 says:

    We’ve dropped the load today. We are just going to stay at home, hang out, be. I wanted to use the word ‘sloth’, because we are very fond of sloths in this household*, but I am bound by the conventions of my childhood and sloth is a sin, so I sought another word. I found “accidie”, which I hadn’t come across before and sounded quite exotic – but, after investigation it proved unsuitable. I found some other words too. They all seemed rather judgemental and grim. It’s grey outside. I don’t want to feel like that. As my daughter once said, “I’m dressed: what more do you want?”. I shall put the radio on, “reflect, relate and regulate”, and enjoy doing my washing up. I’m not going to feel guilty if I don’t revere every soap-sud though! And then I’m going to wallow in sloth. Well, for ten minutes …

    *This is our main reason for liking sloths:

    A Bradypus, or Sloth, am I, I live a life of ease
    Contented not to do or die, but idle as I please
    I have three toes on either foot, or half a doz. on both
    With leaves and fruits, and shoots to east, how sweet to be a Sloth

    The world is such a cheerful place when viewed from upside-down
    It makes a rise of every fall, a smile of every frown
    I watch the fleeting flutter by of butterfly or moth
    And think of all the things I’d try if I were not a Sloth.

    I could climb the very highest Hiymalayas, be among the greatest tennis players,
    win at chess or marry a Princess or study hard and be an eminent professor.
    I could be a millionaire, play the clarinet, travel everywhere,
    Learn to cook, catch a crook, win a war then write a book about it.
    I could paint a Mona Lisa, I could be another Caesar.
    Compose an oratorio that was sublime.
    The door’s not shut on my genius but I just don’t have the time.

    For days and days among the trees I sleep and dream and doze
    Just gently swaying in the breeze suspended by my toes
    While eager beavers overhead rush through the undergrowth
    I watch the clouds beneath my feet; How sweet to be a Sloth.

    If you’d like to hear Flanders and Swann singing this is it is meant to sound, go to:


    • Melissa says:

      I’m giggling. What a wonderful song/poem! I like this statement ‘We’ve dropped the load today.’ – that sounds like a different version of doing the dishes to do the dishes. By that I mean, it might get you to the same place as revering each soap sud, but without all the extra motion. Sloths are efficient, no?


  2. Donna says:

    “Just gently swaying in the breeze suspended by my toes”
    Love this image!
    I’m slothing today too, waiting for a knee injury to heal. Don’t try carrying Christmas wrapping paper hanging down in a bag off bicycle handlebars in strong winds. It might blow in between spokes, lock the wheel and send you flying!
    But then you could experience a huge dose of Cambridge goodwill when people rush to help. People are so wonderful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melissa says:

    Yesterday I was wrapping the presents to wrap the presents. On Thursday, the kids will be unwrapping the presents to unwrap the presents. And during the days in between, they will be examining the presents to examine the presents. It seems to me that each of these steps is important and unique.

    The other thing this quote reminds me to do is to take each day on its own terms. My son’s birthday is the 23rd of Dec. We try to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the Christmas preparations On 23, Dec we celebrate 23 Dec, on 24 Dec, we celebrate 24 Dec, and so on.


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