There has been so much preparation leading up to this week. Of course, I'm sure it's been like that in every home that celebrates Christmas. And also, did it seem like December just vanished in a puff of smoke, or is that just me?
We're not the people who put up Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving. We take our time and savor December. We slowly add decorations and touches as the month progresses. It makes it all feel so much more magical to me. I never want Christmas to be a thing that needs to just "get done." *shudder*
I was very deliberate this year about slowing down and taking care of myself and my family. I was determined to find joy in everything we did this year. Can I just tell you - slowing down is hard! Especially when the rest of the world is in full go! mode.
In fact, for about the first two weeks of December, all I had was this Merry Christmas pillow, which makes me totally happy, but that's not important right now.
This month I did manage to design, print and send out invitations to Nochebuena early in the month.
I've got 32 people coming on the 24th and there won't be any room for a Christmas tree, so I got a few smaller trees and put them in corners of our living room. So really, it's more like setting the stage than Christmas decorating.
I was happy we took our family photos back in September for our Christmas card. I don't know that we would have managed to get all of us in one area code otherwise. (See the photo in my blog header at the top of this page.)
Christmas around here happened slowly, deliberately. We took the time to watch Christmas movies and celebrated as we made Crema de Vie for our friends.
We got up early before the rest of the world and had coffee and shared dreams.
We went to parties and shared our food.
And we shopped a little. Mostly online. We made lists and shared ideas. And slowly added design elements to our "set."
I even got inspired (Thank you, Pinterest!) and made word garlands using my new Silhouette Portrait. (Still not done. I have a bunch more to hang today and tomorrow.)
What I have found is this: That I find no joy in perfection and in hurry. Perfection and hurry are way too demanding for me. But, without the tyranny of having to have everything up in one day, (who tapped, anyway?) I find that I'm enjoying the holidays more. There seems to be much more time for the fun and the celebration and all this makes me a nicer person.
We took time to really celebrate Advent and the coming of our Savior on Christmas day. And that just added to my personal joy. Seriously. There's something to be said for anticipation and preparation. It's as God intended.
After all the slow decorating and the taking time to enjoy the season, it turns out that my house is looking pretty darn festive for Nochebuena and Christmas. Now it's time to start preparing food and wrapping gifts. And I'm not stressed about this at all, because I took the time to take care of myself this season.
I found joy right on my doorstep. Who knew?
Feliz Navidad, my friends!