We start a fire before dawn.
Mike in his chair and me in mine with three tiny pups somehow piled on top of me. The coffee takes the chill off and gives me more joy than it should.
Or maybe the joy is coming from the fact that today is the last Saturday in October, the day of our fall party. The 13th year we’ve pulled family and friends together to kick off the holiday season. There are over 30 of us these days and the number of Little’s is growing.
Even though I’m tired, I’m determined to squeeze every bit of good out of this day because after all, this day will never happen again. And next year…well there are no guarantees about the future.
The day unfolds full of moments to tuck away like the treasures they are. Laughter and hugs, babies on hips and catching up over hot cider.
It was a good day.
And the next morning, I woke to November!
Whether you’re an early Christmas decorator or one who holds to the “day after Thanksgiving” rule, the air is already charged with anticipation.
And why wouldn’t it be? November and December are the two months of the year that best lend themselves to celebration and memory making. Why not pause, right now before we’re caught up in the sheer joy of the season, to do a little planning?
As a young mother, one of my most precious memories was gathering in the den on Thanksgiving Day at my parent’s house. Gramma sitting proper, legs crossed and cradling a mug of cider, babies crawling all over, a fire warming the room and Daddy encouraging us to think back over the past year and share something we’re thankful for…the specifics of our gratitude might have been different every year, and some years there were tears as we thought back over hard times…a cancer diagnosis and Chemo treatments…but the essence was always the same…God has blessed this family -let’s remember and give Him thanks.
As for Christmas, my parents kept Christmas well. In my earliest memories, even before our family started regularly going to church, there was an undeniable focus on Jesus.
I have forever etched in my mind a Christmas Eve when Mom and Dad came into mine and my sisters bedroom right before bedtime. It was dark out, but the street lamp in front of our house spilled a blueish light onto the wood floors. All four of us knelt there, in that puddle of blue light, and my parents prayed. Although I have no memory of exactly what was said in that prayer, I remember feeling a sense awe. We, as a family, were kneeling and talking to Jesus. The same Jesus whose birthday we were celebrating. Amazing.
Our Faith in God and our focus on family is the essence of why we celebrate. There are lots of rituals and traditions we add to our celebrations, but they all flow out of that essence… our faith and our family.
So knowing the essence of why your family celebrates, is a good starting point for planning your holiday season.
Can you take a minute and ask yourself why? Why do I go to all the trouble to celebrate in November and December? If you have time, write down your thoughts…
The answers will be different for everyone, but understanding why you celebrate can help you know what to embrace and what to let go of in the coming weeks.
My hope is, that we can take a little time before all the merry making, to find inspiration for what matters most-with that in mind, I’m doing a series of posts…
~Next time, we’ll talk about celebrating Thanksgiving Day~