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Every year Christmas tastes just a little bit different.

Sometimes the season is candy cane sweet and full, full of parties, travel, and more things to do than can be done. Sometimes it’s mulled apple cider. Quieter, more mellow and introspective and sipped slowly and meaningfully.

This year, I don’t know. This year, I think, it’s maybe more dark chocolate. Not so enjoyable that it begs eating a whole box full, but still considered a treat. A little lacking, though, to tell the truth.

It’s advent, the season of waiting and expecting and anticipating, and this year I confess I just can’t feel it.

I keep waiting for the wonder of it all to kick in. For the feelings and the joy and the excitement to manifest.

And then last night, while I was crocheting little hats and flower accessories, it occurred to me.

I am the wonder-bringer.

In my family, it’s up to me. (Maybe it’s up to you in yours?) And sitting around waiting isn’t going to work. The season will not make itself. It will happen, of course, regardless of my efforts. But the fabulous, the special little things that make it all wonder-full… that’s my job.

It always has been, actually.

For some reason, though, it’s been a little harder to create it this year. The list is there, but the heart hasn’t been. So my heart and I have had a little conversation. And this is what we’ve decided.

How to put my heart back into Christmas:

1. Make a list. Sounds obvious, I know, but otherwise the time slips by and the intentions do not become intentional.

2. Spend a few minutes each day affirming loved ones. (This is on my list!) Especially the ones who live under my roof. They need to hear, daily, how wonderful and loved they are.

3. Make the house smell nice. Candles, baking, cinnamon simmering on the stove. Whatever. Good smells equal good feelings.

4. Read scripture. Not just the family reading, but my own. Take the time to hear a few of those most important words each day.

5. Determine some giving-back gestures to share over the holidays. For me, this will probably be bringing baking to some families who have recently lost loved ones. And if I finish my crocheting, I’ll have some little flowery hats to give some special little girls. But we won’t hold our breath.

6. Stop, each day, and let the blessings of my family, faith, and space soak into me. This is my gratitude this season. Family, faith, and space. Ah, I am so blessed.

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Today I begin the wonder-bringing. My heart is stirring already.

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