Wednesday, December 2, 2009
An 8-foot balsam pine is twinkling in the space between our dining room and family room. The short banister is wrapped in great swags of evergreen, twined with crimson cords and sprinkled with snowflakes that leave glitter on my shoulders when I pass. I've resurrected the Christmas CDs and downloaded them to our iPod--even now Third Day serenades me with O Come All Ye Faithful. I've already made cookies (Peanut Blossoms, the best ever), sought out my favorite toffee recipe, and ordered the requisite Christmas cards. They're beautiful, by the way. Everyone is smiling just so...
Christmas is in full swing at the Baart house. And I love Christmas. So why am I feeling so... blah?
I could blame it on the fact that right now I'm facing uncertainty in both my professional and personal life. That's enough to throw someone off-game, right? Or I could lament the sad truth that Aaron and I have been busy with a capital B, something you know I've been struggling with (and working on) for some time now. Maybe it's that as the holiday season approaches, we are apart from family and friends in British Columbia... Any way you cut it, Christmas does have a certain bittersweet edge to it, doesn't it?
Whether it's warranted or not, I can't help feeling like a bit of a Scrooge. It's not that I didn't relish picking out and decorating our tree with my sons. And I'd be lying if I said I didn't close my eyes every time I bite into one of those perfectly Decemberish peanutbuttery cookies... Bliss. Yet even with these quiet sparks of cheer, I know that this season I more closely resemble a bah-humbug recluse than Christmas Barbie with a Santa apron and a maxed-out credit card.
Guess what? I'm okay with that. Go ahead and call me Scrooge. Remember the story? He faced himself, dug deep and learned things about himself and the world that most people don't have the courage to confront. It was a journey, but he was a changed man after he walked that arduous path.
I feel like I've been doing a lot of waiting this year. How fitting that as we journey through Advent, I'm waiting yet again. Waiting for news. Waiting for a positive report. Waiting for the days to pass... Waiting. Expecting. Hoping. Worrying. Praying.
Believe it or not, it's a good place to be. A hard place to be, for sure. But I'm hoping that a journey of refinement is just what I need. I'm already looking forward to Christmas Day... In a quiet, reflective sort of way.
How about you? Do you ooze candy canes and tinsel from your pores? Or are you a quiet Christmas observer? How is the holiday season hitting you this year?