I’ve been putting off packing up my Christmas tree since New Years. It’s a warm, glowing reminder of one of the happiest times of year and recalls Christmas Eve’s spent with my family, listening to my dad read us all our favorite stories. It’s a magical season full of light and laughter and I can’t wait until it comes again.
However, for now, it’s time to make room for spring and all the new life that comes with it. The deep reds and greens and sparkling silvers of winter must eventually give way for fresh colors and longer days.
I will eventually stop talking about Christmas but not today. There’s a brief time which comes every Christmas season when all the magical things in the world wake up and life feels like the happy ending to a good book. For one week, the smell of fresh cookies trails through the house even when the oven has been turned off and the cookies carefully stowed in their tins for future munching. The finest dusting of baking flour seems to linger over the kitchen counters and the air tastes sugar sweet.
Christmas is special. Even amid the most mild winters snow falls in the mountains of Colorado to settle over the lawn like a fuzzy white comforter. Whether it be huge fluffy flakes eddying past the street lamps on Christmas Eve or the inexplicable appearance of five inches of fresh powder on Christmas morning, it always comes.
The frosty weather heralds the arrival of a few unexpected guests and this year was no different. No matter how old I get, I can’t help squealing like a six year old with a quarter from the Tooth Fairy every time I wake up to a winter wonderland. I skipped through the house to gawk at it from every window and, sure enough, tucked in the very back of the yard beneath a mesh of plum branches and bedded down in my mom’s garden napped four Christmas deer. They stayed all afternoon, occasionally standing to stretch their long necks or burying their noses in the snow in search of fallen crabapples. Even Mother Nature knows that Christmas is a time to cherish traditions.
When the weather outside is frightful, I make sure to bundle up with a few of my favorite things. My mom, the knitting queen, always ensures that we are outfitted for the great outdoors, whatever the sky decides to do. Each fuzzy cabled sweater, pom pom hat and set of Jan Brett mittens is knit with great care and love in every stitch. Today, huge fluffy flakes drifted downward like white cotton to settle over lawns and rooftops, finally transforming the world into the winter wonderland I’ve been waiting for. I can’t wait to don my winter woolens for a stroll through town as the world reigns in the new year.
When getting into the Christmas spirit my family has religiously conformed to one golden rule. Never bake alone! The preparation of holiday sweets is not meant to be a solo activity and goes from a chore to a holiday treat when you’re surrounded by the people you love. Whether you gathered this year via phone, video or in person, hopefully you found ways to keep the family traditions alive. Everything tastes better with family.
Christmas is in two days! This is a public service announcement to all the procrastinators out there. No judgement. Life gets busy and things fall off the To Do list but make sure to show your friends and family exactly how much they mean to you this year. Get into the spirit of the season with gift giving this Christmas.
Last night, December 21, as black ink spilled across the night sky people left their homes to look westward at the lights hanging above the mountainous horizon. A rare and wondrous sight appeared in the fading light of the longest day of the year — a sight that for 800 years has not been visible. The marvels of this world, like the universe, are infinite and I feel blessed to have been able to witness this celestial anomaly.
During this advent season I attended my very first Vespers service at my church and left with my heart lightened and a smile on my lips. Having only recently begun attending Sunday mass and participating in church, I had no idea what to expect at this evening prayer. I was content to watch and listen and follow along with my fellow parishioners. The overhead lights were dimmed so that the main source of illumination in the huge room was the flickering orange light of dozens of candles that burned silently on the altar. The floor to ceiling stained glass windows were back lit from the outdoor lights and glowed softly. The priest’s ringing tenor filled the space with psalms, prayers and reflection before the room settled into a reverent quiet as church goers knelt for a period of individual prayer.
All my irritations and stresses from the week melted away as I watched people make their way to the front of the church to light still more candles for their own prayer intentions. By the time the service was over and I was tiptoeing across the icy church parking lot, the altar wasn’t the only thing that was glowing. For the first time in weeks, I felt lighter than air as I started my car.
Peace be with you. May your days be bursting with joy and an excess of Christmas cheer.
Today is nothing more than a little reminder to savor the season of Christmas. Although festivities may look a little different this year, it’s impossible to keep a smile from your lips when you take a minute to drink in all the happy memories you’ve spent your life collecting to hang on your tree. Happy Friday. May you be filled with the Christmas spirit and experience no shortage eggnog, carols and Christmas cookies.
The spark of Christmas cheer is finally catching, spreading like multicolored wildfire. December has arrived and brought with it total blackness by 5pm every night. However, while evening rules the skies these days, the world below celebrates the spirit of the season with a festival of lights at the end of each and every day. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
It’s time for glittering Christmas trees, twinkling lights, velvet garlands, jazzy carrols, snuggly wool sweaters and everything else that makes Christmas season the happiest time of year. From the moment I packed up my mini tree and stowed it in my closet in January, I’ve been itching to dig it out again.
This week I got my chance! Saturday was all about scary faces and haunted places. But when the evening was over I fell asleep with the echo of sleigh bells ringing in my ears. Just as Santa is hard at work in the North Pole, so am I busy Christmasifying my little apartment.