Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Feeling of Christmas

This year the feeling of Christmas is different. Everything around seems to add to the excitement and feeling of Christmas. I wonder how and why it is different this year as compared with others. Here’s my list of reasons that may have contributed to the feeling of Christmas.

Department stores started putting out Christmas merchandize before Halloween this year. This is earlier than ever before. This definitely got people thinking of Christmas shopping early this year.

The local radio stations started playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving. What a joy to hear “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” in November. I never get tired of hearing Christmas music all year.

Tragedy always seems to foster hope and giving. Southern California was devastated with humongous fires in the fall and the community stepped right up to help. Although loss is hard to take, I think perhaps that sometimes God uses (allows for) tragedy to get our minds and hearts on the right track. Instead of selfish self-centeredness, we offer compassion and giving. Isn’t this the real meaning of Christmas? Just as the innkeeper gave housing to Mary and Joseph in time of need, so we, too, can give in different ways.

Starting with Thanksgiving the weather has turned colder and stayed rather crisp. The feeling of winter, of bundling up in warm sweater and hats, makes it feel like Christmas. It’s been snowing in the mountains. We’ve had some very needed rain, hoping to relieve the drought we are experiencing across the nation.

Listening to the knitting pod casts talk about starting Christmas knitting in July started me thinking what I could make as presents this year. It did seem ridiculously early to be knitting warm things when the temperature is over 100 degrees, at least here in California. But what the heck, let’s distress your life. Why put off tomorrow, what you can do today?

And oh my gosh! What interesting new projects ideas where available, especially with the introduction of Ravelry. Creative minds can now support each other. We had some online help and advice at the touch of a keyboard. What a miracle of miracles for us isolated knitters. We will never be lonely again.

My family is much more involved in Christmas preparations. We have opened our home to whoever needs a place to go for Christmas. We are having my son’s friend come on Christmas. We have invited my brother’s girlfriend’s 18-yr old daughter join us too. We are making Christmas stockings. My middle son is planning a Christmas Scavenger Hunt and preparing a large gift basket for the winners. My youngest son is extremely happy to have an income to buy and give meaningful Christmas presents this year. My husband is making a Christmas treasure hunt with clues for a special member of the family. And I have knitted so many things to give as special gifts this year.

Finally, I am just extremely grateful to see all this Christmas excitement flow through our family with love and admiration. Thank you God for a special family. My hope is that you will experience the same “Glow of Christmas”, which may last all year round.

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