Monday, December 31, 2007

christmas reflections

Christmas is looking into family members' eyes and knowing love.
Christmas is singing praises in the old carols.
Christmas is being thankful for the generosity of others.
Christmas is seeing the enjoyment of your loved ones opening gifts from you.
Christmas is sharing a piece of your history with the ones you love the most.

I'm so thankful for my family. They are funny, generous, loving, genuine, and always great to be around. I got to see my brother Mark and his wife Kathy, my nieces Faith and Nicole, my nephew Nathan and his girlfriend Sarah, and my wonderful parents (of course!). We had Christmas dinner together, then Thursday we went to Chicago to meet Nate and Sarah for a day around town and a Chicago Wolves hockey game. That was a blast! They happen to be the minor league team that feeds into the Thrashers, so we recognized several of the players who've spent time in Atlanta. And Saturday we had everybody over again for Mark's birthday dessert with the immemorial red velvet cake made into mush. Yummm!

This year I also got to get together with several high school friends. I should post pictures of that soon. That was amazing! It was grounding to come back to friends that knew me so well in high school and, even though I feel I've changed so much since then, I could be myself around them and we could still be just as good of friends as ever. I guess fundamentally you never change--that part of yourself God imprinted on you--yet you change and grow and become a better person (hopefully) through life.

Great times. I hope everyone has a blessed season and a great New Year--His mercies are new every morning and every new year! :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Can This Be Christmas?

I've had cookie exchanges, Christmas brunches, and ornament parties. I've put up the tree and lit the lights. And today, I opened all the windows in the apartment after driving home from work with the windows rolled down. Is that right? It's absolutely beautiful weather right now... for May! I'm going to a Christmas party for Andrew's work tomorrow in a knee-length skirt and sleeveless shirt. It is halfway through December, and my family in Illinois is getting snow and lots of white stuff. Yesterday we set a record high in Atlanta at 76 degrees. Hmmm. Global warming?

At least I'll get to see snow in Illinois, hopefully.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dazzling December

I love December because I finally get to put up Christmas decorations. Last Sunday I braved the "storage closet" to get the big box of Christmas decorations out from under everything else. I retrieved our little Charlie Brown tree, the boxes of ornaments, lights, and stockings, and began to spread Christmas cheer about our apartment.

First I put up some icicle lights around our balcony. Then, over those, I hung some evergreen garland that I salvaged from the church's decorations (they were going to throw them away!). I had a random red bow lying around so I decided to put that in the middle of the garland--not in the original plans, but I wanted to use whatever I had.

Then I set up the tree, wrapped the lights around it, undid the lights, tried again, finally got it to look not too obvious that our tree is as sparse as a coat hanger. I added some sparkly garland, and blue, silver, and iridescent ornaments. I had cashed in on last year's after-Christmas deals and got a matching blue and white tree skirt that could probably cover our whole tree if I wanted it to, but it adds pretty color. The colors of our tree this year remind me of snow... Also a little nod to our faith's Hebrew heritage.

Apparently the cats remember that they are former Christmas presents and really enjoy the holiday. Molly thinks the lights make her fur look glamorous.

Yay for Christmas! It is a beautiful season--a festival for the senses.