Don't you just love this time of year?
Sometime around November 15th and right on into the New Year, there a certain feeling in the air. Something atmospheric, hard to describe, and very, very special. There's an energy in the year fed, I suppose, by brightly coloured lights, a unique type of music called 'Christmas songs', the cold and snow (or slight chill in the air, depending on where you live), the smell of all sorts of delicious baked goods, and a million and one other things that all combine to create what we call 'the Christmas season'.
My family doesn't really do a Christmas tree or decorations, mistletoe or the Yule log, lots of presents on Christmas Eve/Day or Christmas songs blasting through the house non-stop. But I still fully appreciate Christmas and everything it means and stands for - to the point of driving my siblings crazy by saying at least three times a day "I just love this time of year!" or "There's such a great atmosphere in the air around Christmas time." In some ways, I wish this little sliver of the year would never end, even though it wouldn't be the same if every day was Christmas. Anyway, I just wanted to share a little bit about what this time of year means for me, what it is specifically for me.
- Jesus' birth. Now, I don't believe that Jesus was born on December 25th, but that doesn't mean I can't remember and celebrate His birth at this time of year. There are so many beautiful Christmas carols that commemorate the miraculous occasion and I love listening to them or singing them in church. Because without God giving His son to us, there wouldn't be any point to any of this, would there?
- Christmas songs. The old ones. As in, 40's and 50's. Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller...especially Glenn Miller. I started listening to his music a few days ago because he's mentioned in a Jack Cavanaugh book I like, as well as a Combat! episode (go figure), so I was curious. And then I watched 'The Glenn Miller Story' yesterday and, well, I've had the songs running through my head day and night. I love old music so. much. 40's swing? Doesn't get much better than that.
- Cold air and snow. Just take a good, deep breath. I love tramping through the snow and breathing in that clean, winter air - so cold it hurts your lungs (in a good way). There's nothing like crisp, invigorating air on a snowy, winter day. Am I right?
- Trees and trimmings and lights. I go to the mall, and there's huge green ornaments strung from the ceilings, Christmas trees around every corner, pine branches above the warm yellow lights, sparkly red and green giant reindeers on different levels...all of it contributes to the Christmas atmosphere. The neighbours have their lights out, and it's all so pretty - the reflection of the coloured, sparkly LEDs on the snow. One of my favorite memories of my family's three year stay on a small farm that was close to one of those nosy, cozy country towns was the enormous display of Christmas lights in the town park. Every time you drove through the town, you'd see the glowing spectacle in all its glory and it was really something.
- Christmas spirit. Everyone's so much more cheerful, friendly, and generous. It's beautiful.
So, if you want me, I'll be snuggled in a comfy chair with my favorite sweater on, a cup of hot cocoa with whipped cream in my hands, watching 'It's A Wonderful Life'.