Merry Everything

To quote the Counting Crows, it’s been a long December. It’s actually been a long, long several months. I saw a GIF recently that made me laugh and nod my head in recognition:

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I’ve been trying to set all of that aside, though, because ’tis the season to be jolly and all of that. In all sincerity, it has been a really, really tough year, but the flip side of that is the strength I’ve had to realize, and the joy that has become that much more joyful when I realize just how precious it truly is. So yes, we have had to slog our way through a lot of things this year, but we have also had a lot of moments of sweetness (and I will post more on that, before the month is through). It’s a season to be thankful, and I am.

Candles

I specifically acknowledged the winter solstice for the first time, this year. The churches in my town put on an ice candle memorial service on the longest night each year, and I’ve been to it a few times for work — I decided to co-opt the idea for my own. I made these candles the day before, which felt like an act of meditation and observation on its own. When night fell I went out and lit them, and then Matt came home and re-lit them. I thought a lot about the symbolism of darkness turning to light, of the worst of it being over, of rebirth and brightness and a new season blanketing the world. Let there be light.

As for Christmas, we are celebrating at home, with a few extra family members in town, rounding out the party. I’ve put out an open invitation to friends to drop by today; I’m not sure if anybody will have the spare time, but it feels nice to figuratively leave our door open.

Card

And of course, the thing I am most looking forward to — Christmas with this girl. It has already been a delight. She’s visited Santa a few times (after he visited her daycare he confided in us that she was “his best customer” at that particular party). We’ve baked cookies, she’s made crafts, and she loves opening the cards we’ve been getting in the mail. I love Christmas through her eyes.

So, I’m wishing you all a bit of magic, no matter what you celebrate (or don’t celebrate). If you’ve had a long December, too, know that it’s only supposed to get brighter from here.

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