Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Hopes

My very first step in getting ready for Christmas is to change the ringtone on my phone to 'I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas'.  It is not officially the Christmas season at our house until that happens.  Since it is just not right to start with anything Christmasy before Thanksgiving is over, changing my ringtone was one of the first things that I did yesterday morning.

I went through slightly over forty six years on earth before 'I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas' entered my life.  I don't know how I missed it, since the song has been around since 1953.  It it one of the happiest songs I have ever heard in my life.  It brings a smile to my face every time I hear it.

Anyway ~

It has been a gradual process, but our holiday preparations are minimal at best.  Randy and I no longer exchange gifts with each other, or with our families and friends.  The only shopping we do now is for Roxy.  Since she goes into the pet store with us, it is will be no great surprise to her what she finds in her stocking on Christmas morning.

Putting up the tree and decorations around the house and mailing Christmas cards are the extent of the holiday hustle and bustle for us.

I did have the brief thought to talk Randy into driving up to Springfield just so we could go to a shopping mall and experience the insanity within.  Getting a coffee and a snack and people watching in the holiday madness used to be one of my favorite things to do.

That idea quickly fizzled out in my brain before I had a chance bring it up to Randy.  Good thing, because I had no compelling argument for us to make a five hour (round trip) drive just to watch how Christmas shopping can bring out the crazy in people.

Last year, for the first time in both of our lives, Randy and I were alone for Christmas.  And yes, it would have been very easy be unhappy about it, to get caught up in our memories, how it used to be, and will never be again.

Instead, that alone time turned into being one of the best gifts that I have ever had.  In a strange way, having been blessed with a near-empty to-do list means that I am able to see the Christmas season as a time of reflection and of thanksgiving.  I am so grateful to be able to spend time enjoying our home, the holiday music and my husband and my dog.

Not in that order.  Most of the time.

It is so very true how easy it is to get caught up in all the stuff that the holidays bring.  I was a willing participant for many years.  Shopping, baking, parties, decorating, stress, lots of stress.  A to-do list that is a mile long, it's only real purpose is to move our minds from what Christmas should be ...

The celebration of the birth of Jesus.

Aren't you tired?

... Tired of the growing list of things that have to be done.

... Tired of worrying that if you miss just one thing on that list, then the chance for the perfect Christmas will be missed along with it?

... Tired because you just don't have anything left in you to enjoy the holiday?

I was and I didn't even know it until I was given the gift of being alone last year.  Now, don't get me wrong, if our entire family and all of our friends showed up I would be the first one jumping for joy.  Just as a warning, if you do show up, be prepared.  There will be plenty of laughs and hugs to go around, but I will probably fall short on the fancy stuff.

Anyway ~

That is my hope for Christmas.  That one person, maybe two, would be able to find a place to find some quiet time in amongst the trips to the mall, the cookie dough and the wrapping paper.

... To sit in the dark and look at a sparkling Christmas t'ree and listen to Christmas music.  'I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas' if you want to smile; 'Silent Night' if you want to get teary.

... To read the Christmas Story in Luke.

... To find a place in your heart that isn't stressful and anxious over your holiday preparations and remember ...

The greatest, most wonderfulest gift is Baby Jesus.

Have the BEST day ever!
~ Dorothy

These pictures were taken in 2009, our last Christmas in Texas.  Cristy, Will & Sammy came over to decorate gingerbread houses that I had made.  I was still cleaning up royal icing when we moved out of the house the next July!


1 comment:

Kristine said...

A beautiful post and wonderful reminder that transitions can be a blessing when we are open to the change. Happy Christmas. :)