Tuesday, December 02, 2008

home & the holidays

(I can sit and stare at this tree for hours...)

I have been excited about Christmas since, well, October. I am usually annoyed when I see the Christmas displays popping up in stores before the leaves even change colors, but this year was different. I found myself lingering in the ornament isles of Hobby Lobby for no apparent reason. There were several evenings when I would end up at Target, wandering through the store until it closed. I got lost in the scent of evergreen and apple candles, analyzing Christmas tree light colors, and assessing the various styles of Christmas decor. 
The funny thing is, I don't think it was the things themselves that had me so captivated. It was the feelings and the memories and the daydreams that surfaced when I was surrounded by those things. I've become quite the dreamer. Well, maybe I've always been a bit of a dreamer; perhaps I am only allowing myself more time on the playground of my imagination. 
Maybe that is part of the magic of Christmastime...

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back 
to the delusions of our childish days; 
that can recall to the old man 
the pleasures of his youth;
that can transport the sailor and the traveller,
thousands of miles away, 
back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!  
~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

Speaking of home... I loved being home for Thanksgiving. The older I get, the more I appreciate my family. For those of you that don't know my family, I am so blessed. I pray that one day I find myself being the wife and mom in a family much like the one I come from. My parents are such beautiful role models for me and my sisters. And I love watching the relationships between my sisters and I grow... seeing how these relationships have strengthened over the years, even through the rough patches. 
The more I learn about this broken world around me, the more thankful I am for the incredible gift of family that I have been given. Thank you, God, for the protection You've given us. I would rather have this than any treasure in this world. And I love knowing that even when our time on this world is over, we will still end up at home together... and that will be our true home. 

There's really no place like home for the holidays...