Christmas is by far my favorite holiday. I love decorating the house and the festive spirit that permeates the atmosphere. I love to sit in the peaceful quiet circle of light surrounded by deep inky darkness.Maybe 1500 lights are too many for a Christmas Tree but my tree is larger than life in my cozy living room and it deserves to be dressed well. The effort is well worth the effect and every year I eagerly anticipate those quiet Christmas evenings.
Every year but last year.
Last year I was confounded by stress and overwhelmed with a deep sadness. I couldn’t pinpoint the exact source of either and the thought of putting up a Christmas Tree paralyzed me. As we became more and more immersed in the season, I became more and more helpless and I felt a growing hopelessness.
Though, we often have three trees gracing our home for the holidays, I had somehow managed to get my family to agree that we didn’t need a tree at all this year. I was beyond thankful for their understanding. (I later learned that they were disappointed at the prospect of a treeless holiday however, didn’t want to put additional pressure on me so they kept their disappointment to themselves.)
A friend encouraged me to put up a tree. Even if it wasn’t perfect. Even if it didn’t have all the decorations on it. No matter what I was feeling, the celebration was necessary for my family……and for me.
My husband brought down the boxes for one of our smaller trees and some of our ornaments. It was still too much. I sat, hedged in by boxes, unsure where to start. My sweet 12 year old daughter asked if it would be okay if she put the tree together and started and I could just sit and watch.
I watched and as I did, my spirits were lifted by the way she served and the grace she showed
She decorated the whole tree with the help of her little brothers. It was beautiful…..
…….and just what I needed.
In my evenings that followed, sitting in the circle of grace-filled light, I embraced peace even in the midst of the chaos of my times.
It was a Christmas like none other and one that I won’t likely forget.
Until Next Time,