This most beautiful Christmas time of year came early for me, and also came slowly for me. It came early, in that for the first time ever, we put up our Christmas tree the weekend before Thanksgiving! (I'll explain why we did that a bit later.) And it came slowly for me, as the month of December began with some sadness for me. (And I'll explain that a bit later, as well.) How has it come for you?
The coming early and the putting up our Christmas tree even before Thanksgiving, happened unexpectedly when a dear friend shared with me that she was putting up her tree early, and the thought just stuck with me. Why not? Especially this year, our first year of retirement ... why not? And coupled with that idea, is that I wanted to decorate the tree differently this time; focusing on more simplicity ... lots of tiny lights, and three different sizes and textures of silver balls. A simple, beautiful look, that actually went along with my "winter" decorating theme. Decorating first for winter, and then adding extra touches for the December celebration of Christmas!
This book has given multiple ideas that have brought me joy this fall, and now as we move into the winter season. If you are drawn to the idea of decorating and filling our homes with beauty for all of our five senses, and also of decorating for each season with simplicity, well, you should put Welcome Home on your wish list for Christmas gifts! It was part of my September birthday gift from my hubby ... and I am loving it.
And the coming slowly and with some sadness, has been because ... well, because of this strange pandemic year that we are all in. And that means, that this year will be the first time in many years that we will not been able to host our big family gathering for Christmas. It is just not possible to bring about two dozen dearly loved family members into our home for Christmas. The reality of it hit me as I was putting up Christmas decor after Thanksgiving. It's a sadness that many or all of us share in one way or another this year.
But even in the midst of this reality, I still have joy. There is much to be thankful for! For even though I will greatly miss having all our family home ... we'll still continue on having warm connections from a distance in all the ways that we can communicate, and we'll still be able to be with some of our family.
Another source of deep joy this Christmas time, has also come unexpectedly. I think it has come because of the underlying current of the loss in our country of trust and fairness in elections, and of deep concerns that are occurring. How can it be that these losses could bring joy? Though losses bring sadness, they can also point us to focus on and draw even nearer to the things that never change. Loss and darkness point us to the light, and to all that God brings us through the birth and sacrifice of Jesus. The need in our world for the true light is becoming more and more apparent.
The true joy of Christmas shines extra brightly in darkness, and this year I'm also finding so much beauty and comfort in the sounds of this season. In addition to a winter playlist that I've created (bringing in the beauty of all our five senses), I have loved creating a new playlist of Christmas music this year, which we have been listening to over and over these days. My collection of a mix of about 40 vocal and instrumental pieces (so far), on my Amazon Music app are filling our home with so much joy, beauty, and the deep truth and joy of our Savior coming to this earth.
In addition to the sights and sounds of Christmas filling our home, my kitchen has been filled with the scents and aromas of the fun and festive baking of this time of year. And that may be a topic of my next post here ...