Christmastime is here. This year has been one of incredible joy and but also terrible pain, and I think many of us are pretty happy that we will soon be stepping into a fresh new one in a few days.
A surprising, heartbreaking loss in our family has caused a muting of the joy generally surrounding this time of year. Getting my husband to have any excitement for the coming holidays has been quite difficult. First step, tree. Putting up the tree is never a good time. No matter how long we’ve had it, we still can never figure out how the cords are supposed to be connected...not to mention the clutter that is almost always present in our living room which needs to be annually cleared in order to fit our festive decor. Needless to say, the evening of “putting up the tree” was not one that increased our holiday spirit. However, a week later, we finally got the chance to decorate.
For the past few years, we’ve each chosen a new ornament to place on the tree which shows our personalities, mostly pop icons which we remember fondly from our childhoods (or adult childhood, as in my love of the minions and Dave’s perpetual love of Star Wars). This year, neither of us could find an ornament that we really loved. We had almost given up when I remembered the greatest thing that had happened this year: our marriage. My Secret Santa at work had given me a silver wedding cake ornament with the year and “Our First Christmas Together,” and we still had our somewhat unusual wedding cake toppers. I decided to combine them into a sort of homemade ornament to commemorate the absolutely best thing to happen this year. As soon as it was on the tree, we knew it was the right choice. The addition of a beautiful tree uniquely “us” has definitely helped in getting us both more excited for the next couple of weeks.
Another thing that really helped my heart warm to the season was hearing my choir sing “Believe” from Polar Express. Hearing their lovely voices sing such a moving song was amazing. I wanted to show the kids how happy I was that they had dedicated so much time to making music, so I decorated ornaments with their names on them and “Comet Choir 2013” to help them remember their time in the choir. I also wrote them a letter telling them how happy I was with their work this year. The kids were so incredibly excited when they found the gift bags on their chairs, and their responses to the ornaments were priceless. I was so happy that kids could be so enthusiastic about such a simple gift when all some children seem to want these days are iPods and PSPs.
These next few days are going to be so different from previous years in many ways. However, I am confident that we will still be able to share the love of our families and maybe even feel a little of the magic of which so many of us lose sight as the pressures of adult life weigh us down. Merry Christmas, all! “Christmas day is in our grasp, as long as we have hands to clasp.” ~ Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas
These are Girl Scouts, obviously not my students. And they may have gone a bit overboard with the attempt at harmony. However, I find it more pleasing than Josh Groban's version...don't judge me. :)