The crumpet is a simple little thing. Just water and flour and a rising agent. It is little more than a formed pancake and yet with some butter and sunlight it can begin a day with buttery crunchy kindness. It is very simple – toast it, slather it, eat it. Some tea or coffee and some silent sunlight and you have the makings of a fine little breakfast. They sell them at Sprouts.
Advent is such a loud time for the world around the church. The noise makes headlines on the morning after Thanksgiving day in which one wonders at the insanity f a shopping season designed by politicians to launch with Thanksgiving and end with the New Year. Shoppers wander as if in a zombie state of forced march and the purchases light wires with digital math.
One year I was given a set of crumpets for Christmas on the second week of Advent. It is one of those gifts one never forgets. Every day I sat with that crunchy butter sponge and a cup of tea (the gift came with six crumpets and six tea bags. Of all the merchandise I have received (and dropped off at the Goodwill deck) I remember this set of crumpets and tea bags. Within a week they were gone and yet they come back to my mind every Advent inviting me to take this season in a countercultural way.
What if we made a pact with ourselves that all our Christmas gifts would be ones which facilitated a brief time of silence and delight for the one to whom our gifts are given but which are consumed within a week – and gone? Some cookies. Some tea. Some hot chocolate ingredients. A gift certificate for a massage. What if our gifts were gifts of silent delight? What if that kind of gift was our statement to a culture which has simply gone mad with the giving of gifts which end up in yard sales? And what if that gift were given with an offer of time – that gold standard of our day?
Please enjoy this bread, tea and jam. May we have it together one day next week so that we may connect and encourage our friendship?
Love, me. Merry Advent.