It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I’ve decked the
halls windows with boughs of holly. Anywhere I could get away with decorating with greenery was bedazzled, including our mantel, banister and outdoor carriage lights. And, I am guilty of doing all of this a few days before Thanksgiving. Why?
Last year, I wrote about how I didn’t feel the Christmas spirit. What makes this Christmas so different? Both this Christmas and last Christmas we’ve had our home and we’ve had our health. Last Christmas we saw loved ones; that will be the same this time around. However, this year marks the first year since moving to the South that I have been heavily involved in the music ministry at church.
I didn’t realize just how much I needed to be back in the Church. Last year, Christmas felt like an empty Hallmark holiday. I almost feel like a brat admitting this since I’ve been blessed in so many ways, but I just didn’t feel the Christmas spirit. That awe and magic the envelopes the season.
Last year I bought a wreath for our front door and, because the door frame doesn’t allow for an over-the-door wreath hook (and nailing ribbon on the inside of the door was impossible) I took it down before Christmas came. This year I hung the wreath with a suction cup. Why didn’t I think of that? Suction cups are great for glass and so far this has held up longer than last year’s multitude of failed attempts.
Yes, holy wreaths, haha but I love the simplicity of hanging wreaths. Not only are the red and green combination a traditional choice in décor, but it takes all of 15 minutes to decorate the outdoors. The candles turn on automatically in the windows and give such an inviting glow to our dark front entrance. I think I might leave them up year-round like I saw in the homes of Northern Baltimore.
Even our mailbox received a handsome trimming. It’s much better than the lonely red bow I put on it last year. Who knew a little $4 wreath and $1 red bow makes something as mundane as a mailbox so festive and bright?
While I love champagne gold and white for indoor Christmas décor, I love the bright red and greens for the exterior of our home. I can’t wait until the hollies in our flowerbeds grow red berries to offset our lawn going dormant.
So, you may be asking yourself, why did she decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving? It’s odd, I know. And, I know that there are some purists out there that hate people like me…those people that skip a holiday. Normally I’d be right there with you, because honestly, do we really need to see Christmas decorations for sale before Halloween? No, that’s overkill.
Thanksgiving weekend was the first weekend of Advent, and I was scheduled as the Cantor for all three Masses that weekend. (A cantor in the Catholic Church is the singer who leads the congregation in music, stepping away from the choir loft and singing the Psalm and Alleluia at the altar, and then returning the loft where they continue leading in song.) Having said that, my entire weekend after Thanksgiving, when I usually decorate for Christmas, I would have been at church. And, did I really want to leave church, where I had just sang Christmas hymns, and come home to a plain house? No.
I decorated our home for Christmas when I did…because I finally felt the Christmas spirit. After the darkness of last year, I was finally filled with light. I truly think it has everything to do with my involvement in the Church again. Was it solely me being able to express myself through music? I’m not sure. But if the Spirit moves you, you act on it, right?
How about you? How do the holidays feel for you this year?