It has never been too hard for me to wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas. This year was different. Maybe it was because stores seemed to start decorating even earlier than usual. Maybe it was because the Thanksgiving turkey and trimmings were prepared and served in late September. Maybe it was because I just needed Christmas.
Whatever the reason, I had a harder time waiting this year than usual. Today is the first Sunday in Advent and I decided it was also the first day of my Christmas celebration.
Our Advent wreath changes year to year, always including the candles and the Christ child and the story and many times a Santa. This year instead of my Bible I decided to put out the book I chose years ago to tell the story to the children at my church. I have never separated, at least not much, the spiritual from the festive. It is all celebrated because of the Birth and so Santa watches over Advent.
The pine cone tree was here when I arrived. I have always loved it but never used it. This year Dean suggested it go in the center of the round coffee table. He even saw the red and gold beads and suggested I use them on the tree. The tree skirt was given to me years ago by my step-mother who worked diligently once a week at the church to prepare for a huge holiday bazaar. My books, which I feel like I just read, but it really has been a year and so they once again take a place of honor and I will start reading them again soon.
We took a break in the rain to walk up the hill and cut a small tree. Like all Christmas trees before it, it is perfect. Because we are having small trees now, I am choosing my ornaments. This year I planned to use some crocheted snow flakes Michelle had given me years ago. I didn't have as many of them as I remembered so I added some white and gold ornaments, icicles and of course my big red ball, a very meaningful gift from a play cast in 1986. It is included every year no matter what the other ornaments are.
The decoration feast also changes from year to year although when the daughters were growing up, it was mostly popcorn, cider or cocoa, cheese and crackers, and something chocolate. Today it was white bean soup, made by Dean while I was decorating. It was and is perfect. It tastes exactly like I remember white bean soup tasting. What could be better than that? And to add to the perfection of the day, it has started to snow. Christmas is coming indeed.