The Christmas Spirit

There's a whole lot working against me in my fight for "the Christmas spirit" this year. 
1.  I'm staying in Florida, not Chicago, which means:
  • missing family
  • no cold
  • no snow
  • no Nutcracker Ballet
  • no traditions I've built for the last 28 years
2.  I have added stress, both financial and logistical, because we are down to one car.
3.  I have entirely lost my voice.  It's not scratchy, hoarse, or even, as Hband calls it, "Rusty."  It is gone and I am mute but for whispers, which means:
  • no Christmas singing Christmas carols, something I wait until after Thanksgiving to do and relish for a whole month
  • no reading Christmas stories to my classes
4. I have abandoned traditions because my heart isn't in it, such as:
  • Playing "A Muppet Christmas Carol" for my students
  • Having an "It's a Wonderful Life" party
  • Cranking up "The Nutcracker Suite"
To be perfectly honest, I don't feel Christmas-y at all.  The usual joy and anticipation I feel are pretty much gone.  It's not that I'm not happy to be here.  I have a wonderful husband, and his family (which is now my family) and I will have some wonderful celebrations-- anyone ever heard of the Italian tradition of a seafood Christmas Eve dinner smorgasbord?!  But I look outside and it's warm and tropical.  I haven't been listening to my Christmas music because it makes me sad that I can't sing along.  I think about Christmas morning and it makes me sad that my parents won't be there.

Have any other newlyweds felt a twinge of sadness at this change?  I think I might have even felt it if I were living in Chicago with Hband in our own place, because I still wouldn't be waking up at my parents' house and clambering down the stairs to enjoy the bounty under the tree and in the kitchen.  It's just a lot all at once, I guess.

And so I don't have the Christmas spirit, as they say.

Then I hear Charlie Brown say, "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is really about?"  Followed shortly thereafter by Linus' reply: "Sure Charlie Brown.  I'll tell you what Christmas is all about."  And he recites from Luke 2.

So maybe this year needn't be about the snow, the cold, the Christmas carols, the traditions-- but rather about what it's REALLY about anyway.  Maybe if I focus on why we celebrate this day: the birth of God made flesh-- Jesus Christ, I will feel Christmas-y, in the best kind of way. 

It's so easy to let everything else (good things, even) become more important than the most important thing ever: Jesus Christ, the Savior of my sins.

So that's my goal this year: I want to enjoy Christmas for what it really is, and then maybe the other stuff will fall in line.  I have much to be thankful for and enjoy this Christmas; not the least of which is my salvation.  I pray that will be what puts me in the Christmas spirit this year.  I pray that for you, too.

Meanwhile, here are some kind of cruddy pictures of my holiday trimmings.  I promise they look better in person.

 our Christmas Dachshund train, from Mike's mom, and my sparkly pine cone lights from Bestie :)
 our DIY sparkly Christmas banner in the dining room

 A close up of the garland.

 Above the desk

My DIY canvases... didn't turn out as planned, but sufficient

 Above the e-center

 Hahahaha... watching "Seinfeld, of course
Notice we have our stockings hung here, including Lucia's little one!

Our living room-- not fancy, but Christmasy

 our little tree

 some special ornaments :)

our new sparkly sign

xoxo, A