Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Cheer

Christmastime has totally snuck up on me this year. It was mid-fall, then I blinked and it was Thanksgiving. Now, seemingly overnight, the weather has turned, and the season along with it. Holiday windows went up in all the storefronts. My friends have bought Christmas trees and are talking about having finished their gift-buying. (Yikes.) Everyone has booked a plane ticket home. Except me.

This year, so far, I've been rather grinchy; not feeling all that festive. It just hasn't felt like it's time yet, when normally I'm eager for Christmas to come.

Magically, all that has changed in a matter of hours. This morning I volunteered to help pack Christmas Angel gifts, a holiday project at my church. The Angel gifts are bought on behalf of an incarcerated person and are given to his or her children, so they can have a Christmas surprise. I didn't volunteer to buy a gift myself this year; it came and went before I was ready.

I attended the gift packing out of obligation, not excitement, but the group of ladies who were helping out managed to turn me around. They were so into it that I couldn't help be excited. One of them commented, "I really look forward to doing this. Now, I feel like it's okay to have my own Christmas." I loved that she said that, and I discovered a decidedly Christmasy smile on my face for the rest of our morning.

When I stepped outside afterwards, it just got better. A tiny elderly couple was standing waiting for the bus, bundled up in their winter finest. Her long coat was holiday red, and she was grinning. He hugged and kissed her, very sweetly, but rather dramatically, right there on the street. I'm sure he thought no one was looking. My heart melted.

I'm suddenly feeling altogether too Christmasy for words.

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