Friday, December 21, 2012
a holiday hello
'Tis December (has been for twenty-one days now!) and the holiday season is full upon us, with Christmas only days away. And my poor little corner of the internet here has been sadly neglected. If only you could know the many posts that have been written in my head as the weeks fly by. They were rare gems of wit and wonder, filled to the brim with wonder and delight that would have astounded. (what? They're imaginary, they can be as amazing as I want. You don't know.)
This might not be news to you, but I have discovered that I am not one of those people who can keep up a charming and regular blog when life gets extra busy. I really admire those who can! But no, me, I cannot. And right now, life is definitely extra busy. Every year this time rolls around and every year I always feel like I'm more behind and last-minute than I should be. Except this year I also have a 5 1/2 month old who is no longer sleeping through the night and a 3-year old who has a stubborn streak in her a mile long, who fights me on every little thing. Truth be told, I'm worn out, and sometimes it's hard to find the desire to want to do all the things that should be done, much less to do them joyfully and make them fun.
But. The things that need to be done will get done. And if they don't, Christmas will still come. That is exactly what a little old lady said to me last Saturday when I played piano at a retirement home and was taking some time to visit afterwards. She looked at me as she sat there in her polyester pantsuit bedecked with poinsettias, shook a little wrinkled finger at me and said "Christmas will come this year again no matter what, and it'll come again next year, and we'll probably grumble and gripe about all sorts of things, but since it's going to come anyway, we might as well just enjoy it."
"...we might as well just enjoy it." Hmmm, that seems simple enough, but I know from experience that for some reason this time of year-- when our rejoicing should be positively flowing out of us as we remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior, when there are so many good and lovely things surrounding us in our homes, when we are with the ones we love, when we are blessed with gifts both material and immaterial in so many ways--it is so easy to lose our joy.
I'm reminded almost daily, especially after the horrible and tragic heartbreak in Connecticut last week, to just slow down and take things in a little bit. Or, if I can't slow down, to at least have a joyful and thankful heart no matter what. So, in these days ahead leading up to Christmas, as I look at my to-do list that is still longer than I'd like, I'm going to do my best not to stress or snap, but to spread joy and share love, to rejoice minute-by-minute in God's mercies and graces, and to simply appreciate the amazing things around me, be they big or small.
Here are just a few of those things.
gingerbread toffee flavored coffee in a brand-new holiday starbucks mug.
the paper snowflakes that spin gently round as they hang above our bar.
rocking my son to sleep as he grips his blanky tight and I sing him Christmas carols.
watching White Christmas with my girls as we fold laundry by the light of the Christmas tree.
my girls spinning and dancing and twirling all over our living room to Michael Buble and his amazing Christmas music.
my sister filling the house with the smell of molasses cookies and the sound of Phil Wickham (yet another amazing Christmas album)
a sweet friend who willingly took all four kids so I could (mostly) finish christmas shopping.
stopping in at my husband's work on said shopping trip just so I could kiss him in the middle of the day.
mail that is chock full of happy smiling adorable Christmas cards from loved ones far and near.
...and I could go on. I could go on! Joy. It's there. :)
This holiday hello turned into more of a post than I really meant it to, but I'm glad I could take the time to sit down and write just a bit of my heart. That's another grace right there.
And to you, Merry Christmas, dear people. May these days be merry and bright and sparkly with a million joys, imperfectly wonderful and surprisingly lovely.
"God bless us everyone!"
That tiny Tim really knew how to put things.