I have always loved Christmas, the glitz and the glitter and the wonderment and the magic (Narnia magic ya' know). There's just something about the Season which differs from any other time of the year.
Certainly it has as much to do with Whose birthday we celebrate and the fact that... although there are those who attempt to take Christ out of Christmas... they cannot.
Especially in the hearts of those who worship Him as Savior and Lord. They forget we do not worship a religion but instead we fellowship with the One whom they reject.
My husband's brother stopped by our home recently, on his way to their hometown near Chicago. He had business which needed attending before the start of his busiest time of the year. For he is a social worker and the Holidays bring about the most depression. I am not surprised, having realized in my own life that my joys are enhanced as are any sorrows during the Christmas season.
This is one of those years in which I find myself entering the Season in a rather Bah Humbug mood. The weather has not helped as we've experienced days of heavy, cold, windy rains that turned to snow... which surprised us as we left our friend's home on Thanksgiving (where we had a lovely time together). Thankfully, the snow and ice had stopped before Christopher drove home much later.
However, I learned long ago not to let my emotions control what I decide to do about this (usually) favorite time of year. I remember a very difficult December many years ago ... when... during a quiet time... I felt that nudge of God reminding me that these are my children's Good Old Days.
I didn't want either of my children ever to remember Christmas with Mom depressed and cranky due to circumstances. Instead I desired their memories to be those of God at work in the difficult years and how it didn't take much money to enjoy the wonderment of the Season. A good lesson to learn then and remember each year since my husband had to go on S. S. Disability.
After all, it doesn't cost much to make cookies or cinnamon rolls to enjoy by the light of the tree and a simple hot chocolate made with Hershey's cocoa and milk. We always had plenty of Christmas decorations to take out of boxes, making the house look festive and bright (which cost nothing but time).
Now that the family is dispersed and dispersing, some no longer with us and others far away, how relieved I am that I chose... knowing there was a moment of choosing... to get over my lack of happiness and embrace... joy... and hope... even if it meant the doing before the feeling.
So... whatever my feelings at the time... my actions were to put on Christmas music and decorate and watch Holiday movies and bake cookies and make candy for gifts and unpack boxes containing... sparkle. Each year memories returned as ornaments and decorations were removed from tissue paper... memories of places we lived and people we loved.
So often just a morning spent in a cozy kitchen making bread or assembling a stew while listening to Christmas music on the radio would bring a smile. There is something about adversity which brings with it the appreciation of simple delights... a true gift from God.
I can't remember any Christmas in which my mood did not lift at least a little once the tree was decorated and I would awaken before anyone else in the house, take my coffee to a chair or sofa, and enjoy a quiet time by the light of the tree.
Now I must take leave as I (still in a bit of a downward mood) watch The Muppet Christmas Carol (which is playing on the television) and make some hot chocolate. How can anyone feel sad with Kermie and Miss Piggy and chocolate?