Confession: I really wasn't in the mood for Christmas this year.
When the end of November rolled around and it was time to start putting up decorations, I just didn't have the heart for it. Everything seemed so pointless. All that work, and it was coming down in a month anyway. The very thought of digging those boxes out again made me exhausted...
I went shopping for the small gifts I use for the girls' Advent calendar each year, and instead of getting excited as I walked through the aisles of the Christmas section at Target, I felt tired and overstimulated. It was all too noisy, too expensive, too much. What did any of this have to do with anything? I came home empty handed and flopped down on the couch, wondering aloud to my husband if he had any idea what the heck was wrong with me. I couldn't ever remember feeling this unexcited about my favorite season.
I spent a weekend in the doldrums over my unexpected lack of Christmas spirit, and then I decided that it was time to get over it, whether I felt like it or not. Decorations were set out, presents were wrapped, parties of all kinds were attended. Day by day, we've been ticking the usual December activities off our list: enjoying cookies and cocoa, watching favorite Christmas movies, and heading out to see the lights after dark. And while I haven't had any grand revelations like Ebenezer Scrooge, I've found that sometimes you just have to get started doing the right thing before the feelings come along after you. As a Christian, December 25th is a reminder each year that there's a God Who loves me and went to a whole lot of trouble to show it. His love is always there even when I'm not at my best, and that hope is what keeps me going every day of the year.
Of course, once I settled down and finally started enjoying myself, I immediately came down with a case of strep throat that looked ready to derail the whole thing. But isn't it funny how things work out sometimes? This may have been the most relaxed I've ever been in the days leading up to the holiday. Instead of running around trying to make everything perfect at the last minute, I've suddenly been forced to sit back and take it all in. Sick or not, I've thoroughly enjoyed watching my dear girls take over the Christmas cooking (with delicious results!), laughing together with my family around the fireplace in the evenings, and sitting on the couch enjoying the twinkle lights that Mom and I spread all over the house this year. I'm hoping to even pick up a little hand quilting project later today if I feel up to it.
So it's almost Christmas, and I'm going to enjoy it while it's here. I hope you do too, friends.