WE HAVE NOT YET BEGUN to decorate for Christmas, and I feel in the minority this year. Still there is no judgement! I stand in full support of every person who has strung a light or trimmed a tree or outlined a roof or shrubbery hedge; this is a year for joy (!) in any and every available form, any time and place you can get it. In fact, decorating will be ITEM ONE for me as soon as we get home, the car unpacked from a nice long stay in the mountains.
That doesn’t mean we haven’t been in the spirit, though. We’ve done a lot of talking about Christmas, and planning for Christmas, and thinking about what Christmas and the Advent season will be like in this year of COVID. Like most families, we’re making impossible decisions about the things we’ll do and won’t do, the risks we’ll take and won’t. We’re erring on the side of caution, just as we have since March, which means these next holiday weeks will pass in a rather quiet, rather isolated way—something we’ve never before experienced.
It’s not something I would ever choose. So much of the magic and joy of the season comes from being with people we love, celebrating relationships we hold dear. Still as long as tests with positive results keep soaring, we’ve made the decision to keep our circle tight, and to spend our holiday nights and days at home.
I don’t know how that will feel, to tell you the truth. But I do hold some hope it will prove quiet and calm and gentle. That if nothing else, 2020 will be the year in which I manage to actually walk slowly through the holy season, finding a peace born of internal wonder.
There will be space for that this year, I believe.
This year, there will be time.
WE WOKE UP this morning to a beautiful day, one of many we’ve enjoyed this trip as the weather has been most cooperative. Long before the sun rose Tim and our new puppy, Stella Jean, made their way up to the studio where they built me a warming fire. I was alone in the house for a while and I stood at the window in my pajamas, watching as the sky brightened. I thought about how the mountains have seen it all, how every day the sun rises and the sun sets and it happens whether we see it or not, whether we pay attention or not, whether or not we mark the passing of the days.
Advent will be here soon. We’ll officially begin the march toward Christmas, and the wreaths will be hung and our tree will be up and our calendar will hold very little that will require us to so much as leave our driveway.
I’m determined to find the joy in that. I’m going to breathe deep breaths and smile big smiles and I’m going to give grateful thanks that while our world may look different this year, while our celebration of the holiday season may be different this year, there is an opportunity to dig deeper and love harder and hold each other closer than ever before, even if only proverbially speaking.
It will make the joys all the more heightened, is what I think.
It will render the joys all the sweeter.
~ XXOO ~
30 Days of Joy