Now, however, Christmas really is almost here. In fact, I kind of think it already is here. It's not just the day; it's this whole busy happy bustly jolly season. Tain is loving it, and (though sometimes afflicted with a curious emotional paralysis as well as occasionally being startled by the breach between expectations and actuality), I am too.
Around here, Christmas is happening...
... in the mailbox. It's old-fashioned and it's dying off and it's probably even a little bit dorky, but I just love family Christmas letters and the cards they are tucked into. I didn't write one myself last year, and I missed it a lot. This year, I pushed aside the thought that I'm a grandmother before my time, and wrote my little newsletter (rather in a hurry, and completely forgetting all the funny little-brother anecdotes I was going to include). It felt nice to reconnect with people I love, even if only by proxy and on paper.
Outgoing mail is exciting, but incoming mail is even more so -- perhaps because of the delicious unpredictability of it, and the knowledge that someone, somewhere, has taken time out of their own busy life to send something tangible. This week's mail has brought so many happy connections, including a parcel from a precious blog reader and friend from the days of Whatsoever Magazine. You guys, this lovely lady sent me Penguin paperback pencils, which just made my day! I just want to line them up next to the pretty Penguin novels and stare at their awesome design. Along with the gorgeous box of pencils, there was also a sweet, girly journal and the cutest little birdy card-holder, as well as the much needed reminder to keep calm and write something -- all tied up in a chirpy polka-dot ribbon. I'm tempted to write cheesy things about the package; the generosity and thought so obviously sown into this gift genuinely touched my heart.
... in the kitchen. This year, we get to spread the Christmas dinner preparation between three kitchens -- my mum's, my sister Lauren's, and mine. We all get to be part of the fun, and it makes the job so much more manageable, too. I'm making a potato bake and a black forest trifle, a recipe which has gone through a series of metamorphoses from tiramisu into something quite different. Today, I spent several hot and floury hours baking biscuits for post-Christmas guests. My sister Andrea was whipping up some Scandinavian Almond Bars, and they sounded so good that I totally copied her.
... in the neighbourhood. There are lights in the streets and carols playing in the supermarkets, and the gospel is more tangible and more present for many people than at any other time in their year. There is commercialism, yes, and cash, and clamour, too, but there is also Christ. Without Him, there wouldn't be any of this.
I'm grateful there's a Saviour, and that He knows what it's like to be human.
* * * * *
Un -- :)
Laura Elizabeth -- uh, you nailed it! I have grown to love the Professor and realised Laurie wasn't right for Jo, but Laurie and Amy? I still haven't grown quite used to that! (I'm glad you rewatched; it's a beautiful movie).
Carla and Alastair -- yes! Christmas sparkles foreverrrr!
Lauren -- thankee :)
Samantha R -- thank you! xx