One of the things I love about Christmas is how people set out to make things beautiful. They add sparkle and light things up. There are colors, textures, and sounds and stories in homes and workplaces that aren’t enjoyed the rest of the year.
There’s both a sense of nostalgia and of history-making. New things are added, but there are the old standbys, too.
I feel a little odd writing about this because this year there isn’t as much of that in our home, and as a result, my soul doesn’t feel as spirited as I would like it to be.
Usually there is the day we pick out our tree and I find myself at the lot torn between paying less for a less tree-smelling tree or paying more for a very smelly one. I’m always glad when I pay more.
At home I pull out the ornaments and look at them one by one as we decorate. There is the perfectionist in me that circles around the tree, making sure the lights and ornaments are spaced properly. I usually do this until my brain starts hurting and then exclaim “nothing’s perfect!” and try to move on with life.
And then there’s music and baking and wrapping paper and cards and so on. It’s not that I do all of these things every year, but I usually pick out several projects I’m going to focus on and do them with gusto. My soul just feels like it needs to make something special, something beautiful.
This year we have a small fake tree borrowed from Mother T on a tabletop in our kitchen. I’ve put the nativity out and Sufjan is singing from the computer. But all the other decorations are still in their boxes. I’m still doing my Christmas shopping and I haven’t wrapped any presents yet.
Jason & I both agree we are still waiting for the Christmas season to happen. Subconsciously we both decided it doesn’t begin until we go to Atlanta for the Haggard Family Christmas. Unfortunately the day we leave for there is Christmas Eve, which is about three weeks too late.
All this being said, there is one bright spot in this situation.
It’s funny how the simplest of things can bring so much joy. I bought this wreath with no bow and then rummaged around in my boxes of Christmases-past gift wrap and found this ribbon.
I tied the bow over and over until I thought it looked as good as I could get it. And I fastened it to the wreath with expert care, making sure its placement was just right. And then I stood back and said to myself “I just made something beautiful! Thank you, God.”
Every time I go in and out of the door or when I am pulling out of my driveway to go somewhere I notice the wreath. And in those moments, I’m reminded that I’m so glad it’s Christmas!