when i was a young girl, christmas was my absolute favorite time of year. i remember planning long in advance what kind of cookies i wanted to make, i remember listening to christmas music in late october, checking out holiday decorating and craft books from the library, and wanting to put up our artificial tree as early as possible (the saturday after thanksgiving!). i have fond memories of baking, stringing popcorn and cranberries, decorating our house, praying for a white christmas, and singing silent night by candlelight on christmas eve.
i'm not sure when all that changed. certainly being an adult at this time of year means there are more responsibilities, but i've found that i resist the pressure to do what is expected of me during the holidays. maybe it's the commercialism i see, or the way i've come to see advent as a time of waiting and anticipation. maybe it's because there is so much excess in our lives already, i'm hesitant to add to it.
it's december 12 and we haven't decorated a thing. we haven't pulled the boxes of lights or ornaments from the attic, haven't decided when or how we'll get a tree. but, i did remember to buy cranberries and saturday afternoon we gathered around the table to make some popcorn and cranberry garlands for the tree we'll get eventually. we listened to christmas music and drank hot tea and i found myself wondering if what i really loved most about christmas as a girl was the anticipation of being together.