here’s my sweet little redwood christmas tree. i love it with all of my heart, but as you can see, i didn’t really dress it up very much. it is magical on a tight budget nonetheless, with two strands of white lights and a roommate’s few crystally ornaments, and a buuuunch of silvery tinsel from the dollar store. i have just loved turning on the lights when i get home and snuggling up on the couch by the glow of twinklelight. the tinsel made it look really tacky during the day but quite enchanting come nighttime.
the last few weeks have been so full of christmas cheer. besides the events already noted, here’s some other things i did to celebrate the magic of the season:
-visited the crèche exhibit, which is just incredible and filled me up with so much love for the baby jesus
-went to see the lights at the oakland temple (we went to the courtyard on the temple roof overlooking the bay and it was so sparkly and beautiful and magical)
-read christmas stories by the fire with brittany
-went to the messiah sing-and-play-along in the exquisite stanford memorial church – and sang the hallelujah chorus with all i’ve got…twice
-wrote christmas cards by the tree
-had dinner in fremont on the christmas china at my aunt and uncle’s with my cousins
-attended our festive ward christmas party
-sipped hot drinks while searching for neighborhood christmas lights displays in palo alto with visiting teaching friends
-baked about a hundred christmas cookies and make loads of candy cane chocolate truffles – our kitchen was buzzing with christmas music and tastes and smells pretty much constantly the past couple of weeks
-wept through our ward’s truly incredible christmas sacrament meeting
-read a christmas carol out loud with the boy snuggled up by the tree (i’ve been wanting/meaning to read that classic for about the last 10 christmases)
i agree with what dickens wrote (in the voice of scrooge’s nephew): i have always thought of christmas time, when it has come round -apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that- as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
and, in thinking about christmases years ago and years ahead, i pledge with ebenezer himself in this: i will honour christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. i will live in the past, the present, and the future. the spirits of all three shall strive within me. i will not shut out the lessons that they teach.
i love the patterns of our mortal years, that christmas comes every december without fail. there are so many reasons to love christmas.