It may bring parties or thoughts devotional...Whatever happens, whatever may be, here is what Christmastime means to me...
I guess I'm just going to have to deal with the fact that from now on, whatever happens, Christmas is going to be an emotionally fraught landmine field for me from now on. Between losing Grandma one year ago today and having to pack everyone's Christmas presents into boxes for shipping (including one that would have been used an excuse to steal Lily for a couple of hours instead of being described as "a present with some assembly required"), it's been kind of complicated. I'm sort of at sea here. We are not hosting Christmas this year, and as a childless couple, Jeff and I haven't really had to do any serious shopping or manuevering to deceive small people. Don't get me wrong I've been busy (I have a new respect for my parents, who managed to decorate, buy presents, deceive small people, enjoy holiday concerts, and still find time to bake sugar cookies for decorating) but the madness isn't nearly as great as it would be if I was at home, preparing for Christmas Day. This year Jeff valiantly volunteered to work so another employee could travel home to be with his family, and I'm staying too. I bought a tiny tree, which barely comes up to my shoulder, and we decorated it in stopgap plastic ornaments. I'm not used to having a tree that looks like it came out of a catalogue. We have candles in the window, which is a Southern thing, and Jeff's dad brought over his Christmas village for upstairs. My sole contribution to the decorating, apart from the tree, is a hollow snowman figurine that is being built by a little boy and girl. His hat comes off, and he holds red and green Hershey's kisses. Mom got it from her oldest sister. When I was younger, Mom would manage to fill up the snowman when I wasn't looking, as soon as I got it out of the box. I was so mystified by the fact that one minute I was unpacking the empty snowman and the next minute he was full of kisses that for a while I was fully convinced it was Christmas magic or possibly elves. This year I made sure to have the kisses on hand before he came out of the box.
One of the things I haven't been doing this year is going to church. I really enjoy the Advent season and the build up to Christmas Eve. But I haven't found a new church yet. Truth be told, I'm a little daunted and exhausted by the idea of finding a new church and a new congregation. When I stopped attending the church in Williamsburg, no one really noticed...and even after going there for two years, I still had people coming up to me saying "Welcome! We're glad to see you, are you new here?" So probably the next church is not going to have 2,000 members. It is very hard to find a congregation where I feel comfortable, being as liberal as I am. There are PLENTY of churches around here...unfortunately, most of them probably would prefer I was not living with my boyfriend.
Anyway. Sort of all to seek about what Christmas is this year. I'm trying to get into the spirit, but I sort of don't have the energy this year, you know? I'm looking forward to this afternoon, however, when Jeff and I are heading over to Busch Gardens to experience their Christmastown...even though this year has been oddly out of sync, there still is a small child in me who delights in lights, singing and drinking hot cocoa.