December 05, 2007

In Search of Christmas Cheer

We're not living in our own house yet. Some day we may again have our own quarters and I am very thankful for the roof over my head and the comfortable bed, but it is not my own. During this long process of renovation, the lack of my own space has really gotten me down at times, but never more than now as the world around me decorates for Christmas.

I didn't grow up celebrating Christmas at all and have only done so for the past ten years. Even during that time since my marriage, it was never a religious holiday for us. This year it has become much more than it ever was before and although that means I should be even more grateful to consider what I have and think about my Saviour who was born without even a normal bed to be laid in, I cannot help but find myself feeling melancholy.

We might have a tree, because the couple we're living with are thinking about getting one, but it won't be our tree. We might have stockings (or maybe not, I just don't know right now), but they won't be the family ones we've collected over the years.

On a good year, I struggle with making Christmas a time of cheer and happy memories, because it doesn't come naturally to me. I didn't grow up with any of it. I grew up saying, "Bah humbug!" and thinking people who celebrated Christmas were idiots. Yet, I love the music, the lights, the cookies and all, but I don't really know how to do Christmas. What little I have done in the past to make it special for our family, is now all packed away and out-of-reach.

I know and can tell myself over and over that it isn't about the things. It's a magical time whether one has the world or nothing and I have a whole lot more than nothing, so what's my problem?

I put on my best poker face, smile for the kids, we're doing our very first Advent wreath ever and I'm playing Christmas music on the iPod, but I'm afraid the feel of Christmas is missing this year without a home to decorate and have friends and family visit.


That would be tough. ((hug))

Posted by: dcrmom at December 5, 2007 07:32 PM

I bet oldest knows something is up. It might be better to let those who can understand in on it so they can help you through and not have to worry what mom's secret tribulation is! My boys have been in the Christmas spirit for a month or two, Isaac especially, though he can't possibly remember Christmas last year. He wants to hear Christmas songs and watch "The Toy That Saved Christmas" (The best part by far is the imaginative and witty "Oh Santa" song, but the boys like it all!)

I imagine you've got a nativity scene, but if not, you should definitely get one (and it wouldn't hurt to have two ;) ). You ought to be able to find (or make!) a few things you can use to brighten up your quarters. May He pour out abundant blessings on you all!

Posted by: Lenise at December 5, 2007 10:24 PM

I spent two Christmas seasons in a home that wasn't my own several years ago, so I know this can be tough for you! Advent will be a nice thing to start this year, though, and it is something the children will remember from year to year. My kiddos love it! I hope things cheer up for you...hang in there!

Posted by: Amy at December 5, 2007 10:44 PM

I think you have every right to feel out-of-step with the holidays this year, Jordana.

How you've managed to weather the stresses of remodeling, homeschooling, and a major faith change with such grace is beyond me!

Posted by: Meredith at December 7, 2007 08:39 AM

Two nativity scenes is a wonderful idea- one very special, set up by a grown up, on something high, to make mama smile and one very special, set up by children, possibly even made by children that can be reconfigured frequently. Cotton balls and pipe cleaners make good sheep, painted clay or salt-dough figurines, and a popscicle/craft stick stable. Some times craft stores will sell unpainted plaster nativity scenes for children to paint. Children can add to it year by year because after all, who knows how many shepherds, angels, stars, sheep, animals etc. were there.

Posted by: AKL at December 7, 2007 08:44 PM

there are so many beautiful Christmas songs about Mary. What better way to celebrate your faith change and season than to listen to these?

On a slightly related note (the time of year), we made your gingerbread pancakes this morning and my son, who is in culinary arts, asked for the recipe. They are our favorite cold weather breakfast.

Posted by: Earth Girl at December 9, 2007 03:36 PM

Sometimes I think that it is precisely because I DID grow up with it, Christmas can be something of a challenge. I'm grateful for an Advent season that is longer than the Feast that follows. It seems to help me "ramp up".

Posted by: Patricia at December 11, 2007 10:37 AM