Ho Ho Ho! Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. Now it's a new week, a new month, and another opportunity to experience what I find to be the best time of year.
Christmas time is here, happiness and cheer...
I've said this before, but I pretty much spend the first eleven months of the year twiddling my thumbs waiting for December. I love celebrating all holidays, but when I do, I'm usually trying to imitate the celebration of Christmas. There's always been a strong connection between me and Christmas to the point where I have a hard time putting it into words. I guess it all goes back to being a young child, feeling the holiday in every aspect of life starting the first school day after Thanksgiving and building up more and more every day until December 25th. Decorations were everywhere, music was everywhere (but not nearly as ubiquitous as it is today), it was all over TV, advertising, everywhere. Plus, I attended Catholic school throughout my childhood, so the spiritual significance of Christmas was very much in the forefront of my holiday experience--it still is.
I attended Mass regularly, and of course my church had an advent wreath prominently displayed there. With every passing week, one more candle would be lit--and oh, the joy of seeing that pink candle being lit the third week!--adding to the anticipation. The entire month just seemed so magical--literally magical--that, by the time it was Christmas Eve, the magic felt so tangible, so real, that it actually felt to me that the veil between Heaven and Earth was pulled away and that we truly about to experience Heaven on Earth.
Did I just blow your mind or what?
Lest you think I was completely devoid of the hedonistic pleasures of Christmas, of course I couldn't wait to get my loot from Santa Claus. In my youngest years, I was so excited about it, and so nervous, I actually lost my stomach because of it a couple of times. After that would pass, I would tear through the goodies that awaited me like a rabid monster. After examining my presents from Santa, my parents' gifts were next--oh nice, corduroys, thanks Mom and Dad--and then, there was a pleasantly meditative experience that is best described as afterglow.
Later on we had Christmas dinner, but it was a more casual event compared to Thanksgiving, with a buffet style layout at the table for us to grab what we wanted. By evening time, I simply sat in the living room surrounded by gifts and family, warm and content that the greatest day of the year that just happened, and was worth all the wait.
Another day this month, I'll describe how we spend Christmas today. I hope my children feel the same way about their Christmases the way I feel about mine. The bar has been set awfully high.