This year, I refrained from listening to Christmas until after Thanksgiving. It's started to really get on my nerves the way businesses seem to want to push us right past back-to-school and into Christmas. (Target, by the way, has signage that reads "Merry Christmas," in addition to other greetings. Whatever you celebrate, I hope yours is happy!) I waged a one-woman crusade against losing Thanksgiving in the shuffle, and it feels so good now to be in December and have Christmas be fresh.
And so here I am, poised for another Christmas. I'm not shopping this year; the budget simply won't have it. I'm doing a little baking, a little knitting, and a lot of enjoying. It's a nice change. Last night, after the lights were all hung, I just sat there, cup of nog in hand, and let it all was over me. The music, the lights, the spirit. I looked down from my third-floor window and saw a couple walking their dog look up at my window; they smiled and waved in that way that makes you realize no one is a stranger at Christmas.
And so it's different, but then it's not. My focus isn't on purchases at all, because I'm just not making any (except for a few pounds of butter for the cookies.) It's on surrounding myself with the people I love and letting the season unfold.
As I write this, the first snowflakes of the year are dancing outside my window, as if to say, "Hey, it's December in Chicago. I'm here! Love me!" And I'm smiling because this year, I'm going to enjoy it. Every moment, even the chilly ones, carries with it infinite possibilities.
May your December be filled with light and hope. May your Christmas bring you joy beyond measure. May you know that you are loved.