Friday, December 24, 2010

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

'Twas the day before Christmas....

I have to admit that a couple of days ago I was finding it hard to be in the Christmas spirit, mainly because I felt overwhelmed with activity and items on my pre-Christmas to-do list. But after a good night's sleep (amazing what that can do for you!) and some time to myself, I'm feeling much better and ready to celebrate.

Some of my favorites moments of this season so far:
• The Advent celebration at my friends Doug and Karla's house last Saturday night. Last year was my first time to attend their annual celebration, and it's something that I very much looked forward to this season. A group of about 20 of us gathered in their home to enjoy some yummy taco soup, talk, and then spend a period of time reading the story of Jesus' birth, sharing some thoughts about Christmas, and singing Christmas hymns. Such a beautiful, intimate way to remember Christ's birth and put the season in perspective.

• The lessons and carols service at my co-worker's church. I've attended this service for several years now and it is always a highlight of the Christmas season for me. With a choir and orchestra, it is quite different from my own church's Christmas service, but always such a lovely and thrilling service.

• Finishing my Christmas shopping and wrapping before Christmas Eve! It is so nice to NOT have to get out in the stores and fight massive lines and traffic today. I'll be able to stay home, finish some baking and food prep for tomorrow, and not leave the house til tonight when I attend our church's Christmas Eve service.

Some moments I'm looking forward to:
• Tonight's Christmas Eve service. With nearly all of my Christmas preparations behind me, it will be refreshing to be able to sit and reflect on Christmas without having my mind abuzz with all the things I need to do.

• Looking at Christmas lights. After tonight's service, my parents and I are planning to ride around town looking at Christmas lights. I'm not sure which are more fun to view--tacky lights or tasteful lights. (Do you have a preference?) I imagine we'll get to see a healthy dose of both.

• The 24-hour "A Christmas Story" marathon beginning tonight on TBS. Absolutely my favorite Christmas movie. Regardless of the fact that I've seen it perhaps dozens of times, I can't help watching it. So many great scenes--"Mama's little piggy", "I can't put my arms down!", "I triple dog dare ya!", "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine," "You'll shoot your eye out, kid", and, of course, "Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra". For me, it just wouldn't be Christmas without at least one viewing of it.

• The event I'm looking forward to MOST--visiting my sister and her family for a couple of days. I'm sure my nieces will wear me out, but it will be totally worth it. Good thing I have a few days off from work afterward so that I can recuperate.

I hope that all of you have a very Merry Christmas!

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