church, spiritual

Christmas In July: Celebrating the Ordinary

Yesterday, it was 100° in Dallas, TX. And there was snow.07-2014 Christmas In July Cropped

Well, there was fake snow at a “Christmas In July” block party in the city’s Bishop Arts district, complete with festive edibles, an ugly sweater contest, and a shorts-and-flip-flops version of Santa Claus.

Why? Why celebrate when you’re not supposed to be celebrating?

To answer that, I wonder: Who says there’s only certain times we’re supposed to celebrate?

If we were only supposed to celebrate certain things at certain times, life would be less interesting and many creative professionals would be out of a job. Writers, for instance, build a foundation upon being fascinated by anything. Perhaps the oldest poetic form, the ode, sets out to celebrate “an event, a person, or a thing not present.”

Yesterday’s hoopla was a sort of ode to Christmas, although it wasn’t present. William Wordsworth’s famous “Ode on Intimations of Immortality” was a wistful tribute to immortality, although it wasn’t present (he only wished it was). An ode can be written to just about anything — the West Wind, a Grecian urn, a graveyard, America, menstrual cycles. They’ve all been done.

What would you write an ode to? Moreover, what would you live an ode to? What or who would you sit down and take time to appreciate?

Maybe tomorrow, even though it won’t be Christmas or even Christmas-in-July, I’ll sit down and appreciate the softness of my dog’s fur, the usefulness of a random office supply, or the slowness of my commute to work (although that one might be pushing it!).

We can live an ode to a good meal by taking a few seconds to Instagram it. We can live an ode to a good friend by taking a few minutes to write a letter to him or her. Incredibly enough, we can live an ode — to anything.


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