When I was young I remember December being the longest month of the year. It seemed as if Christmas would never make it, and then on Christmas night I would feel a sense of mourning for the season that was now over. Now, as an adult, I find that the month passes so quickly I struggle finding time to actually enjoy it. We rush around, trying to fit in all of our various obligations, finish our shopping, bake untold amounts of cookies for parties and before we know it, it's Christmas night and once again I mourn for the season I didn't get to find much joy in. I love Christmas, always have. It's not the gifts I love but everything else the holiday encompasses. I enjoy giving to others but our tight budget and long list of people to buy for have replaced the joy with stress. I miss the childish anticipation of the day that I felt in my youth.
Last year I instigated a new tradition of watching Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol with the kids. This year I'm trying to figure out a time in our schedule to fit it in, along with other Christmas activities to do with the kids. I have my house decorated, I've seen Santa, I've read Zoe the Christmas story, and yet it doesn't feel like Christmas. How do you get yourself in the spirit? What brings you joy this holiday season?
The closest I've felt to being in the Christmas spirit this year was last weekend when my parents came to visit. We went to eat supper and then drove around to look at Christmas lights. When we returned home we lit a fire in the backyard and roasted marshmallows and drank hot chocolate. There were a few moments of peace that I was able to just sit back and enjoy.
My mission for the next week is to enjoy this holiday, the season and everything about it, not only for me, but for my children. I want them to look back to their childhood with fond memories of traditions with their family. I want them to know the true joy of the Christmas story. I love Zoe's excitement everytime she sees a nativity scene, "Mom, that's Mary! She's Jesus' mom and Joseph was his dad, well, God is his dad, but Jesus is God, too." I don't want her to lose that excitement.
Below is a picture of Zoe having a chat with Santa at church last night. It's a little blurry (our nice camera is broken so I'm having to resort to using our cheap one) but I still love it.
Here's hoping you feel overwhelmingly blessed this season.