I have a sparkle in my eye and the beginnings of a song in my heart. I am so grateful.
Last year, Christmas found me in not a happy place. I was so stretched and allowed myself to get completely over worked and drained. This caused me to want to hide in the back corner of the closet and never come out again. I didn't send out cards to anyone. Harsh to say, but I didn't even care at that point if anyone would be offended. I baked only what was required and did a few gifts out of self guilt...knowing that if I didn't, I would hate myself later. The girls and my husband decorated the house. The only thing I participated in was picking out the tree, and though there was a factor of it being a family tradition, I must admit that it had a lot to do with control as well.
It is not that I wasn't honored to live in a place where I have the freedom to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is not even that I didn't want to bless people any longer. I was just so terribly tired.
This year is proving to be different. I have already started the shopping (Some would be shocked that I say starting but in my home and limited budget...that is simply the way it is for now.) I have almost perfected the Christmas letter and photo collage that will be sent out to everyone. We are talking about getting our tree in a few days and it doesn't make me shudder in horror. I began making gifts over the weekend in between TIP calls and didn't feel stress or pressure. I started playing Christmas music yesterday and even sat down to watch my most favorite Christmas movie of all time.
Here is a clip from the best part.....
(I know, that part has nothing to do with Christmas. It is just so romantic!)
So, I am asking myself, "Why the change this year?" I certainly don't sit around eating bonbons on the couch while the world spins by. School and administration still consumes my life. I guess over the last few months I have been learning fresh, what apparently is God's life long learning lesson for me, that I matter. My opinions, wants, and desires are valid and shouldn't be shoved aside and buried. That is what I attribute the change to. Though it is certainly not a new thought, it is amazing how thought perspectives can change the good fortune around us. It is taking months to whittle away at the protective wall I put around myself to survive, but there are cracks in the mortar now.
I feel a glimmer of my old self returning....remembering and taking joy in the fact that it is not about the 10 parties, the shopping list, the baking and crafting. It is about the memory making. All the other stuff is just icing.
Hmmm...now I hear Tiny Tim Cratchit smiling at Ole Mr. Scrooge and declaring in his sweet little voice, "God bless us everyone!"