I’ve been a busy little beaver this Christmas season (and boy, are my teeth feeling it,) with part-time work, part-time day care, cleaning for company, baking cookies, shopping for gifts, getting commissioned paintings finished in time… you get the idea. I love it. Too often we lose sight of the fact that this holiday is a celebration, and we get lost in the ‘must-dos’ and forget to let ourselves celebrate. I know that Christ was not born on December 25th. I know that trees and gifts really having next to nothing to do with His coming (depending on who you ask), and neither do the traditional movies, music and stories that I grew up on, but I love them anyway. Here are some ‘cultural’ Christmasy things I’ve been up to lately.
- Listening to Tim Curry read A Christmas Carol. This man was born to read books with dismal characters. That’s actually a compliment. “If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”
- Wrapping gifts while watching Home Alone and quoting half of the lines as they are spoken. “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!”
- Bright green, be-glittered wrapping paper. The lights on the tree catch the glitter in rainbow colors and it is magnificent. Not to mention how fun it is to know I am solely responsible for my family finding glitter all over themselves for the next month.
- Christmas music! Yes, I said it. I don’t believe in listening to it from October on, and many of the commonly played songs drive me bonkers, but I have my own personal collection of Christmas albums that I love. Sarah Groves’ Christmas album is gorgeous and soothing, (especially It Came Upon a Midnight Clear) Kate Rusby’s Sweet Bells makes me happy because it’s all very old traditional British folk music, and I like to pretend that some of my ancestors sang some of these songs. And Charlie Brown Christmas. There are also a few random songs, such as Christmas This Year by TobyMac, Christmas Time is Here by MercyMe, others by Michael Buble, Josh Groban, etc. You get the idea. Oh, and last year I had the kids at church sing This is Christmas during the Christmas program. It still gives me chills.
- Friends are coming! For the first time in my life, this year we are actually going to have people STAYING OVER in our house. For like, two nights. So, with my sister coming home, the four foster kids, and the family of 8 who is coming to visit us, we will have 18 people in our house for three days. It will be awesome. Insane. Hopefully joyful. 😉
- I find that I totally stink at the whole gift-giving thing. I wander through stores without an idea of what to give a particular person, and find about half a dozen things I’d like to get myself. Yeah… that’s not really how it’s supposed to go… just today I finally figured out what to get my grandfather. (Gift certificate to the greenhouse where I work, so he can get his tomato and cabbage plants in the spring. Duh. This is what I’ve given him the past two years. I don’t know how I could have forgotten that.) And I still don’t know what to get my brother. Guys are HARD to shop for! And believe me, I love the whole idea of making gifts for people… but my brother doesn’t want any of the types of things I make. Except cookies. Which nobody needs in my family.