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Santa brought you 2020… Waaah!!! — Day 23 of Simplicity

Day Twenty-three — Wonder — 25 Days of Simplicity

Here, kid.
Santa got you a gift.

The little girl shakes it. She knows immediately it’s a 2020,
and she starts screaming.
It takes months to settle her down.

What a year.

What was under the wrapping paper for you?
How have your experienced this year?

Have you been stretched? Spared?
What suffering did this year bring? What loss?
What flaws or anxieties or struggles unwrapped?
What gifts or resiliency were uncovered?

What clarity is this year’s journey bringing?
Is it helping you re-member
what matters most to you? What you get to do with this
gift of a life?

This year, I have seen the best and worst of myself. I’ve seen it in others, too.

I’ve tried to hide what’s under my wrapping at times. And I’ve felt so much relief getting real with a trusted friend about my struggles. I’ve been re-humanized by hearing those same but different struggles embodied in their stories. In the stories of my community.

Maybe this is the greatest gift of all. The gift of the Real.

The freedom that comes — the connection — when we get real
about our struggles and pain
about our passions and gifts
about what really matters
about our beautifully flawed humanity

It seems to me,
that’s what Christmas is all about,
my fellow Charlie Browns.

Christmas is an invitation to be real.

It’s a story of the struggle and awe that is being human.

It’s a story that says risking being real
is, in actuality, Love.

As we come upon Christmas again,
risk being real.
Allow room for you to feel your feelings.
Allow yourself room to listen deeply to your life
and the year you’ve lived. Welcome it all with compassion.

And then, make space for others to be real.
Minister to one another through your listening.
Through patient empathy. Tears and laughter.
Good questions and silence.
Through a simple, “I hear you. I see you.”

It’s this practice of care-filled and gentle listening
— to self and other -
that will give us the courage to
face Santa Claus again
and accept the gift of 2021.
It’s this practice of listening and care
that will empower us to create something wonder-full with it.

Peace and breath and the courage to be Real

P.s., Get real with us tomorrow morning!!!


Open Mic Christmas Eve with Intertwine
Thursday, December 24 (10–11:20am)

Welcome Christmas together, open mic style!

This Christmas Eve, we’ll create a morning together. Bring a song, a poem, a skit or story to share (or just come and listen and smile!).

An opportunity to express and witness the joy, grief, wonder, and hope you may be inhabiting this season and this year we call 2020.

We’ll have familiar Christmas songs. We’ll hear the Christmas story and light some candles, too!

Come prepared or share on a whim. We’ll ask that folx keep their shares to five minutes or less.

What a gift to be a part of this creative and compassionate community!

See you Christmas Eve morning!




We gather around questions not answers. We are made of and moved by story, always in process, committed to compassion, and seeking simplicity together. Based in Northeast Minneapolis.

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Mike Rusert

Mike Rusert

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