I have to be honest with you all, I have had quite a hard time getting in to the spirit of things this Christmas. I have my suspicions as to where my lack of enthusiasm is originating. It could be that being an "adult" at Christmas is never quite as fun as it was as a child. Maybe it is because I don't have the glow of a Christmas tree in the late evening and early quiet (we decorated by I didn't want to fool with a tree). Maybe it is because there are those I hold in my heart that will never be here for Christmas and that makes me sad. Or maybe, just maybe, my dear husband, who can be quite a "bah-humbug", is rubbing off on me (I do love that grumpy old man)!
No matter the cause, Christmas is fast approaching and I have found myself resiting the cheer of the holiday season.
That is until last week.
A few weeks ago we got an email from our neighboorhood "association" saying they would like for everyone to put out luminaries. Oh "bah-humbug" I said, I don't want to fool with that! Then the email said they would even give all the neighbors bags and candles, free! Argh, I said, I still don't want to fool with it. THEN...we were walking the dogs and they had a table set up by a corner, "Have you gotten your luminary kit yet?" So there we were, FORCED in to putting out candles in bags...can you believe it?
Waylon can't believe it!
So after much complaining on my part, I finally resolved that on Sunday evening, I was going to have to put out bags and light candles. I mean, isn't that just the worst? So I grudgingly wheeled them out to the street and along with my other neighbors put out my luminaries.
Then something magical happened...like the Grinch when his heart grew...as the lights glowed and the neighbors shared Holiday greetings and excitement I began to warm to the idea, I began to regain my Christmas cheer! It wasn't necessarily the glow of the candles or the twinkling lights from the neighbors' trees and windows, it was the memory. The memory of seeing my dad put out luminaries, the memory of driving through neighborhoods with my family and seeing Christmas lights.
The memory of riding home from the family gathering on Christmas Eve, in the back seat of the car, head pressed to the cold window, watching the stars whiz by, wondering which one was Santa and his reindeer. It was the memory of the anticipation and sheer joy that I had as a child when Christmas was approaching.
Those little bags of lights, they reminded me that this season is not about stress and plans and travel. This season is about rejoicing and being grateful. This season is about joy, love, sharing, cheer, and most of all the celebration of the coming of our Savior.
Sometimes we forget and get wrapped up (!) in the craziness that surrounds the holidays. Sometimes all we need is a little bag of memories to remind us what Christmas is all about!