Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Cheer

Yuletide Greetings From Us to You! 

Christmas cards are in the mail, the tree is up, and I have hives. It's officially Christmas!

I love decorating the tree (even though I am allergic) because our ornaments bring back so many fond memories. Jeff and I started the tradition of buying a special ornament every year, one that represents the journeys of the last 12 months. We also buy one each time we go on vacation, and cherish the ornaments gifted to us by others. We laugh, smile, cry, and reminisce each time a new ornament gets taken out of the box. I do not think there is any better way to decorate your home.

Hand-knit ornaments we bought on our trip to Iceland.

A beautiful bird gifted to us by Jeff's mom.

A corgi ornament (corgament) we found after we got Willow.

We went on a hot air balloon ride the year we bought this one. 

And most important to us, a Family Tree ornament, and Baby's First from Everett's first Christmas.

When I was little, I noticed a spark in the air every Christmas. We were waiting for Santa to come, writing him letters, baking him cookies, hoping we had been good enough to get presents under the tree. My older siblings told me they heard reindeer on the roof, and I stayed up as late as I could, listening with excitement.

Now that I am older, I am surprised to still find that same spark of excitement at this time each year. Even after I stopped "believing," I waited in anticipation for Santa to ride around our neighborhood on his sleigh, shouting "Ho! Ho! Ho!" to the sound of Christmas music. And a few years later, my big brother was that Santa! I ran out with all the little kids, watching with pride as he brought joy to those around me.

And now that I am really grown up, there are few people in my world who still believe in Santa. However, each day I walk into work, I feel that spark of excitement coming from the college students. They will be going home soon, taking a break from homework, eating proper food, and reading Harry Potter instead of Plato's Republic.

This spark? I think it is Hope. We are all waiting in anticipation this Advent season. And whether or not you believe (in Santa or Jesus' birth), you cannot help but feel the Joy and happiness around you. So drink some wassail*, eat all the cookies you can*, and snuggle up with your loved ones this season. Because no matter what life throws at you, there is always Hope.

*I always take my own advice. My gallbladder hurts...

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