Depending on where you live, it is already or soon will be December – the very last month of the year. It’s hard to imagine that I have been writing about the passing of time and the beauty of each month (especially October) since mid-summer. Time is so fleeting!
What can I say about December that hasn’t already been said? It’s a busy month, to be sure. With Thanksgiving behind them, people are beginning to exhibit their beautiful Christmas lights and other decorations – each trying to outdo the other with the most original display.
Takes me back to my childhood when a fun-filled evening in December meant riding in the back seat of the family car with my best friend, Carol, while my father drove us around the most affluent neighborhoods in the area so we could Oooo and Ahhh over the lavish decorations and the thousands of colored lights that lit up the vicinity for miles. Then we’d return to our modestly lit home where my mother would make hot chocolate. Carol and I would sit by the Christmas tree sipping the warm, sweet liquid and talk excitedly about our plans for the holiday that was on its way. After my friend went home, my mother would tuck me in for the night. With visions of Christmas pleasures so fixed in my mind, it was hard to sleep, but when I did, the dreams were pleasant. Ah, sweet childhood. No worries. No stress. Only the blissful feeling of being safe and loved.
Shopping seemed to go on forever. Days on end, it continued while our house became filled with packages to be wrapped. Some were secrets that I wasn’t allowed to see. That added to the excitement. I won’t deny that I did some snooping when my mother wasn’t at home. Once, I begged her to let me open just one gift a few days before Christmas. She kept refusing over and over again... but finally gave in and handed me a beautifully wrapped present saying, “Go ahead.” It took me by surprise. Holding that gift in my hand, I knew it just wouldn’t be the same if I opened it; it would take away the mystery and surprise that made Christmas morning special. After a few minutes, I handed it back and said, “I changed my mind. I’ll wait.”
My mother was a smart woman who knew exactly what she was doing! I never pestered her again to open a present early.
So now it begins. With only twenty-five days left until the big day, there is much to be done. The pressure can become great as the "things to do" list grows. The hectic pace is sometimes overwhelming!
Last week, we feasted and professed heartfelt thankfulness for our many blessings. Now, let us see if we can get through the next three weeks with our gratitude intact.
Good luck and God bless you all!