It has been a crazy month, folks. The Christmas Season is officially upon us, and I have vowed to be present in all of it, and breathe every sparkling moment in. My house is pretty much decorated, but I have some finishing touches yet, and I still have to do the deep clean. The restrictions on my still-healing body make that difficult, but not impossible.
I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving. I know we did. It really was one for the record books. We went up to a ginormous old log cabin that my mom rents out for the whole pile of us. There were 26 family members there this year, and it was Heaven to be with them all for three whole nights. It was loud and peaceful at the same time. We had the best Thanksgiving meal I have ever eaten. We not only decided to do an ugly Christmas sweater contest, but every single person there participated, and wore their sweater the Entire. Day. This proved my self-held theory that we all secretly LOVE the Christmas sweater, and if there were not such a social stigma attached to them, we would all be wearing them. I know I will be wearing mine more this year. Even if it is in the privacy of my own home because I'm not sure the hubby wants to be seen with me in it. So there, Miss Ebony, you had me pegged!
One of the best things I took away from the little excursion was a renewed love for extended family. I obviously love my family, but there are things I tend to take for granted. I am blessed to be near a large extended pool of kin, and I see them all regularly. So regularly, in fact, that I think I forget how special it is. But one of the nights up at the cabin, I stayed up until 3:30 a.m. chatting with my aunt, my cousin, and my brother. About everything and nothing at the same time. It felt so good to be with them. Not worried about how I look or what I say, safe in the knowledge that they love me no matter what. And not even aware that I felt so safe or why, just comfy and cozy with them. And how remarkable it is to know that there are people in your life that love you like that for no reason. It's fun to talk about the past with extended family, get different but related viewpoints and stories, or complete holes in your knowledge of your own heritage that you didn't even know were there. It was just really cool.
Except for the fact that we were up waiting for one of my cousins to get back from the emergency room where he was getting stitches on his middle finger from a pecan pie incident...
It really was a great, memorable time. My boys brought a buddy which made it even better for them, and my hubby had no work conflicts this year, so having him there made it perfect. Already looking forward to next year.
Okay this is getting way too long. I could go on and on about this junk, but I'll save it for another day.
Just one more thing--
Yesterday I was in the car, and I had an experience that I have many times a year during the Christmas season. From Thanksgiving on, I pretty much only listen to Christmas music. I have a ridiculous collection of it, and it truly is my little soundtrack. I have many versions of "Oh Holy Night". And several of them get me. Along with a couple of my versions of "Little Drummer Boy". And by get me, I mean all the way into my core. I start with goose bumps, move to having difficulty singing along because I'm getting emotional, and end up actually crying. Because I feel it. I feel that Jesus really is the reason for the season. And I am deeply grateful for Him and for this gift of Christmas. And "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful." I am so comfortable and so happy celebrating this season with my glitter, my red and green draped all over my house, my shopping, my singing, my baking, my general good mood and too much food and cocktails. This is a season for celebrating the birth of Jesus, and that is a JOYFUL occasion. It is a time for generosity and for giving. For loving your family and friends and singing for no reason. Smiling at strangers and over-tipping your servers. Believing in Santa.