I have been too busy snuggling in front of the fire at my grandmother’s house to do much internetting. No matter how or what you celebrate, I hope that the holiday season has brought you precious time spent with loved ones and gratitude for all of life’s blessings. Of course I would have loved to write something moving and eloquent regarding what Christmas means to me, but instead I’ll wax poetic (and rely on pictures rather than eloquence) regarding some of the things that made my Advent and Christmas seasons special this year.
Simple family time. Some of the happiest moments for me over the past weeks have entailed sitting quietly with my family as we check our emails, or chopping vegetables as we prepare dinner, or having a cup of coffee with my mom in the morning. It really is the little things.
Letter boxing. If you’ve never heard of letter boxing, read a description here. It’s perfect for creative nerds who enjoy the outdoors. Click here for my Dad’s lovely post about the beauty of letter boxing. I mean, have you ever MADE your own rubber stamp? Try it. I think our family is hooked.
Ginger snappish tea. The bad news: you can only buy it in cases of 6 boxes from Amazon. The good news: You’ll go through them in a week. This is another new obsession in our house, and I love mine with a bit of stevia and maybe some almond milk. It’s warm and spicy and comforting.
Cooking for a crowd. It’s no secret I’ve developed a serious love for cooking over the past year. But most of my cooking usually consisted of me, alone, in my kitchen, cooking up a beautiful meal for….myself. Cooking for more than one person is a serious treat. With so many occasions for company, I’ve been able to slave away for hours in the kitchen and love every second. Luckily my parents are happy to sit back, pay for the groceries, and let me do my thing. I’m thinking of posting a few of my favorite recipes to immortalize them. Sadly the only pictures you’ll get will be random pictures of chopped carrots and pyrex cups full of beans.
Grandmother’s house. Is there anything better?
Thoughtful presents from Santa. HOW did he know I needed water purification tablets and countless journals? And, finally, a DVD copy of Pirates of Penzance?
…This particularly rapid unintelligible patter isn’t generally heard and if it is it doesn’t matter.
Christmas traditions. Each year I proclaim it the best Christmas yet. But this year, I had extra time to get in the holiday spirit. We played our favorite Christmas CD (The Roches – I’m looking at you, LindsAY), and I even
begged asked my mom to take me to see the Boston Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. It was gorgeous, and we got to get dressed up, and had a lady-date, and got lost in the wonder that the Nutcracker brings no matter how much you think you’ve grown up.
Writing, Yoga, and the enjoyment of unemployment. I thought I would freak out about being unemployed. I thought I’d have a few breakdowns over insignificant things like not having enough walnuts or waking up 5 minutes too late. Clearly I was wrong. I have felt so relaxed, and light, and happy, and free of obligation. It’s lovely. And, yes, I know I’m spoiled.
Two churches and a Christmas miracle. The nutcracker is lovely and Christmas cookies are delicious. Wreaths are beautiful and snow makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. But what brings me the most meaning this month is the birth of Christ, the true Christmas miracle that gives me joy and wonder even if I can’t always fathom it. This year, we went to a Christmas eve at my Grandmother’s church, with a full choir and a candlelit singing of “Silent Night”. On Christmas morning, we got up and attended Mass, with a beautiful homily on the meaning of Peace. I loved both services, and the opportunity to celebrate with my parents and my grandmother. Few things make me feel closer to my faith than belting out (albeit off-key) hymns alongside loved ones.
For me, Christmas is the coming of our Lord and Savior. It is family, and joy, and faith, and beauty.