Well, you can tell basketball season is underway by my lack of posts recently. I love basketball season, but it sure does keep us busy! Of course, we go to Bethany's games, but since Brad is the principal and I am the official scorekeeper, we end up going to ALL the games. It's a good kind of busy, though, and I am thankful for it.
That busy-ness is probably one reason why we haven't done any Christmas decorating at home yet. Well, that, and the fact that the decorator in the house (and I use that term VERY loosely), has not yet gotten into the Christmas mood. I am not one of these people who can make a magnificent Christmas centerpiece out of a random assortment of Q-tips, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, pine cones and metallic spray paint, like so many of my talented blogging friends can do. I am doing well just to get a few items up on my mantel that look semi-decent together. I'm just not good at that sort of thing, and I'm never very satisfied with the results. So Christmas decorating has always been somewhat of a chore for me.
Last year, our first Christmas without Hannah present, decorating was just downright painful. We did it, though, doing some things differently to make it a little bit easier...getting a real tree, buying some new ornaments, changing up some traditions. We were hosting the faculty and staff Christmas party at our house, so that was a good motivation to decorate.
This year, I'm happy to say that though it's still hard, it's not as painful. I just haven't been ready to do it yet. In years past, we would put up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving...sometimes even on Thanskgiving afternoon. But I've decided I don't want to do that anymore. I want to truly experience and appreciate Thanksgiving before I move on to Christmas. I think that many times in the past, I tended to view Thanksgiving as simply a stepping stone into the Christmas season. From now on, I want to finish Thanksgiving before I start Christmas. This may not make sense to anyone but me...but that's just how I feel. Maybe it comes from the experience of living with a child who has terminal cancer...and the desire to get everything you can out of every day you are given.
So...my goal for this week is to prepare to celebrate Christmas. We have begun collecting items that say "Joy" on them to hang on our tree, and also to decorate Hannah's room with when Christmas is over. "Joy" was Hannah's middle name, and has so much meaning to us on so many different levels. I'm looking forward to adding to our "Joy" collection this year and in the years to come. Because, after all, isn't that what Christmas is all about...the JOY that only Jesus can give? Let's keep our focus on that JOY as we enter into the busy-ness of this season!