What is it about December? How does it bring out the best and worst in people all at the same time? I will be the first to admit that December brings a high amount of stress to my life...the worry that I'm forgetting someone's present; the chaos of shopping among a zillion other moms whose children are all screaming in different pitches - creating quite a dissonant chorus playing in the background (and sometimes the foreground) of my shopping trip; the guilt I feel when my bank account plainly shows me that I cannot buy what my husband really wants for Christmas; the frustration when half of my window lights go out; the pain of burning my fingers over and over with matches (but I love my candles so much!); the pressure to make the toffee and the fudge and the cakes and the cookies; the list could go on and on.
HOWEVER, I must also be the first to admit that I smile more, think of others more, pray more, and hug my kids more in December than any other month. This Christmas season has been the hardest (for the single fact that Brian has been gone on interviews for the better part of it) and the best I've ever had. Two Christmases ago, I was touched to a new depth by our Savior's love for us...and each Christmas since, I have been blessed to remember those feelings. Those feelings this year have been no different - however, a wonderful new element has been added: the magic has returned.
When I take a minute to think about my favorite Christmas sights I've seen this year, the first one that pops into my head is that of McKenzie's bright, wide eyes, cocked head full of curls, and big smile as she hears bells from 'Santa's sleigh' or learns that "Rudolph wants a CARROT?" Her excitement is contagious for Carson who, though he might not fully understand why things are so exciting, is full of energy and laughter. And I am happier, too. Small things give me greater joy (for example: I was running on a treadmill at the gym earlier today watching an Andy Griffith rerun with closed captions, and as the opening music started, the captions read 'whistling sprightly tune'. I broke out in a huge smile when I read the word 'sprightly' and looked around at my running neighbors to see if anyone was accompanying me in my joy. They weren't... so I enjoyed the moment alone).
This is a wonderful season. Full of stress and angry people, yes; but as long as I don't become one of those angry people, there is so much joy to be felt, so much laughter to hear, so much good to see.
Merry Christmas, everyone!