Showing posts from December, 2014

The gift of Christmas

I'm not quite ready to pack it up and put it away.  I want to delay the farewells to another Christmas season, to just hold on for a little while longer.  I sit near the tree in the quiet hush before daybreak as the lights throw strange shadows to the walls.

My love was planted many years ago in the gentle soil of my childhood, and now it has sprouted out all of these arms that reach for what I have grown to hold precious.  Christmas looked and felt different then.  It was very much about the presents, but even in the midst of gift giving I was learning the importance of seeing family and friends as something to cherish.

I look at the blinking branches holding steady the memories of years past; four pairs of ceramic booties with birth dates inscribed, cardboard toy soldiers with colored paper hats, foam wreaths with my children smiling wide between the glitter.  It is all haphazardly hanging.  It is all so terribly beautiful in its representation of life.

We sat around the large …

When your tree isn't ready for Pinterest

Life never seems to follow the picture I create in my mind, but then I'm a bit of a dreamer.  I get lost in the imaginings of perfect scenarios, those happy Norman Rockwell paintings.  Every year I hope for a heavy snow to fall on Christmas just to feel the slowness of a day that keeps you right where you are.  It stretches its cozy arms around while the fireplace pops and hisses, all while we sip that frothy, rich cocoa as white lights of the tree throw shadows on our faces.

This has never happened anywhere but in my vague imaginings, and yet some version of it finds me hopefully wishing.  Tis the season?

We erected the Christmas tree this week.  My children, all together in their joy, pulled tokens of preceding years from these intimate boxes.  It was furious excitement all about the room as the carols whirled happy tunes in and out of the background.

Divine restraint kept my hands away from the heavily decorated base of the tree.  I stood away from those twinkling lights, away…