We’re here. It’s Christmas eve.
I was putting out cookies and milk for Santa earlier this evening, high on joy, immersed in it – my favourite night of the year, and I thought of that quote in Cinderella that goes something like,
“Do you have a little crust of bread, or a cup of milk?”
“What’s a cup of milk?”
“Nothing, but a little bit of kindness makes it everything.”
Tonight we sat at a table full of food, cosy, lights twinkling, surrounded by family. We left out reindeer food and we lit sparklers and we squeezed out every last bit of magic that surrounds Christmas eve and has done ever since I was a child. I was euphoric, as I expected I would be, and still there are stockings to fill and reindeer footprints to dust as I sit in this warm glowing home of ours surrounded by all of this love. And, like I always feel when I’m extremely happy, an ache begins to form in my stomach, laced with a feeling I can’t place. It happened last night when I watched carols by candlelight with my children, and when I see the fireworks displays on new years eve. When I watch my kids sleeping in their clean, soft beds.
I sit there and I think: All this privilege. All the money we spend. All the efforts we go to to thrill ourselves. My god we are lucky and my god we are ridiculous are the two thoughts that I think the most. And tonight, as I tuck tiny children into safe beds and flit about the house creating magic for them, I can’t stop thinking about the refugee crisis our world faces and the devastating stories I’ve heard come out of it. I’ve put a lid of my refugee ranting because I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but two days ago, some of my most favourite authors/leaders in the world: Brene’ Brown, Glennon Melton, Elizabeth Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed raised a million dollars for the non profit called Together Rising Glennon Melton founded. And if y’all don’t follow her at Momastery you should. I’ve been reading her work for years. Her writing makes me better. She inspired me to start this blog all those years ago. She’s smart as hell and so funny she makes me cry and pee myself a little and she leads the biggest, bravest, most open-hearted community I’ve ever known.
Because it’s like this:
Most things are nothing.
But a little bit of kindness makes them everything.
She told us she received a message from desperate doctors on the ground in Lesvos who said, “There are thousands of children here and their feet are literally rotting, they can’t keep dry, they have high fevers and they’re standing in the pouring rain for days on end. You have one month, you guys, and then all these people will be dead.”
You can’t hear that and do nothing.
Then Liz wrote: Those of us who are warm and dry and safe and well-fed must show up for this who are cold and wet and endangered and hungry. That’s a rule of life. Every ethical and religious and spiritual tradition in the world agrees on that rule.
Look, I know it’s heavy and I know it hurts our brains to think about and I know the problem is so overwhelming and I know it’s easier to block it out and I know it’s Christmas eve but I’m begging you to visit thecompassioncollective.org (the group Brene’ and friends created) and donate anything you can. They are the only non profit supporting the refugee crisis I have come across who do not keep a cut for administration costs – they run solely on a small group of tireless volunteers and cover overheads from their own pockets. They are also advocating a maximum donation of $25 because it’s also important to remember what Mama T always said: Small things, great love. That is what will change this world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
I have never felt more aware of my privilege than nights like this, wrapped up in magic, in my family, in the holidays.
And tomorrow morning when we unwrap presents and look for Santa evidence and drink and eat and rest, I’m going to think about the thousands of children and families and men and women who can breathe just that little bit easier because one million dollars was raised in 31 hours by a community who believe we have a duty to show up for each other. Who believe that they have to be the light and the change because if not them, then who? And if not now, then when? That’s a lot of warm blankets for babies and coats for tiny bodies and food for families and shelter for men and women during the darkest days of their life. It’s happening, you guys. Just because we’re not there seeing it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
Wishing you peace and love and joy on this Christmas eve and a little quote I love:
“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now. Love mercy now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” The Talmud
It’s enormous, I know, but we don’t have to complete it. We just have to stick with it. Show up for it. For no other reason than because it’s right to.
Merry Christmas, friends. Thanks for being here with me.