Despite the difficulties and sadness of this past year (especially during the past few weeks), I am looking forward to Christmas, perhaps in part because of the difficulties and sadness. There has to be something joyful to look forward to. I know that there is—my faith tells me to wait and be patient. My heart and soul want the peace and joy of this Christmas season, and if I let them in they will take root there. I’ve opened the doors and am letting in the light of Christmas.
Setting up our Christmas tree always helps make the house a peaceful haven. I have old and new Christmas ornaments and they all have their turns on the tree. Each ornament has a history—one was a gift from a friend, one I bought at a Christmas store in San Francisco, another is from my mother, another from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and so forth. I remember how I got each one of them because it is my personal history dating back to when I was a teenager and started to buy or receive them. I collect Christmas tree ornaments and Christmas angels of all kinds. I love sitting in the dark with the lit and decorated Christmas tree in front of me. It’s peaceful in an indescribable way. I can remember back to when I was a child. I felt the same way then. I also remember being outdoors in the deep snow and finding a snow-laden evergreen tree, branches hanging down nearly to the ground. When they did that they created a kind of ‘cave’ to sit in—where I would sit and contemplate the peace around me. It never felt lonely to do that. I felt protected by the peace of the snow and the tree.
Each year my husband and I have the same conversation when we go to buy our tree—how big it should be and how high it should be, etc. He pushes somewhat for a smaller tree each year, whereas I still want a larger tree. We always end up with a tall medium-sized tree that has enough branch room to hang a fair amount of ornaments. Maybe when we’re older we’ll go for a smaller tree, but for now, it’s nice with a larger one. It fills one area of our living room. My friend in upstate NY has a large tree this year as well; her husband dragged it from the car into the house commenting all the way that it was too big. I guess this must be a man thing—to comment on the size of the trees and to complain (a little bit) in general—or register some skepticism? But our tree is big this year—I used twenty-five feet of garland to decorate it (wrapping around the tree). That’s much more than I usually use.
Anyway, I am posting some photos of our tree and some ornaments. Enjoy! Have a joyful and peaceful Christmas! Take some time to sit with the tree……..