November 30: Christmas Season
Last week was hectic for me – in many ways – so I gave myself permission to take a blogging vacation. I did, however, continue to focus on gratitude and not surprisingly, discovered several blessings amidst the holiday stress. For example:
- I am grateful to live in Kansas City – a cosmopolitan city with hometown hospitality
- I am grateful for writing and the joy it brings to my life
- I am grateful for traditions like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – and the perpetual hope that one day… I will see it in person
- I am grateful for hand-me-downs, especially the china of parents and grandparents that make holiday meals even more special
- I am grateful for laughter around the family dinner table – retelling old stories and sharing new ones
I have always loved December – in part because it is my birthday month – and as a child, having a birthday and Christmas so close together meant 355 days until the next gift-receiving opportunity. But even now as an adult I adore this time of year.
For our family, Christmas begins the Friday after Thanksgiving. In the years before the internet, I would look forward to the Black Friday hunt for bargains. I would treat myself to a Gingerbread Latte and listen to the local Christmas Carol station on the radio as I traveled from store to store in the wee hours of the morning. Now-a-days, I take advantage of online shopping while sitting in front of the fire sipping a cup of cocoa.
Friday evening the kids return home to decorate the tree. The boys help bring plastic bins down from the attic and later assemble the tree. The girls unpack the boxes and strategically place decorations in their customary spots around the house. The box of tree ornaments is then opened and everyone helps hang them on the tree. The older children reminisce the stories that accompany each ornament, and the new generation oohs and ahhs to see them for the first time. It is an eclectic tree and not much to look at… unless of course, you know its history, and then it is absolutely perfect.
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I have thoroughly enjoyed these 30 days of gratitude, so much so, that I think I will continue this practice through December. My focus these next 31 days will be the Joys of Christmas. Please feel free to join me in this continued celebration life’s blessings.