I’ve had occasion this week to share slow visits with friends I rarely see but who mean the world to me. Life can be like that, you know? Your heart filled with affection, but your calendar committed (or your location complicating matters) such that suddenly months have gone by and you’ve hardly exchanged a word.
I mention this because in both cases, what brought us together was a little Christmas decorating. It was a draw that brought me joy, even in the considering—I have the space in my life to do it right now, and believe-you-me I know how difficult it can be to get the sparkly decking done when your cup already overfloweth. Still I write about it here because the deepest gift of those efforts came as a surprise to me. There was reconnection and laughter and a sense of accomplishment standing back and looking at the sparkly fruits of our labor, for sure. But there was also an intimacy afforded in the mere act of helping decorate someone else’s Christmas tree. Every ornament has a story. Every story holds a link to the past.
We know this, of course, particularly those of us who “do” the tree in our homes every year. We unwrap the ornaments and hold them to the light, remembering where they came from, who gave them to us, if there was something significant going on in our lives at that time.
Baby’s First Christmas
Our New House
That Trip To The Grand Canyon
There’s the handmade and treasured: cross-stitch from college; the year we pressed clay; Eliza and Emma—kindergarten, curling ribbon, glitter. And the vintage, gifted or handed down, and deeply beloved: my grandmother’s buttons; Mrs. Fraley‘s petit point stocking; the reindeer, from Suzann’s mom.
I got to hear stories like these, is the point I want to make, which created an unexpected and also quite glorious glow around the time we spent together. And that’s what the holidays are really about, wouldn’t you say? Not just being with people we love, but sharing. Connecting. Remembering.
Honoring, I would even say.
I do pray the crazy of the rush to the holidays gives you time for such as this. And I hope it covers you with a glow, and lifts your spirits, and fills your heart with a joy that renders you bouncy and giddy and thrilled.
It’s all right there for the partaking.
30 Days of Joy