I'm feeling much better but despite my sickness, I'm really feeling the Christmas spirit this year! I'm almost done decorating and I've really enjoyed it. Caroline and I have listened to Christmas carols and just enjoyed being together while we've gotten everything done. Her excitement and enthusiasm for the holiday are contagious so maybe that's one reason why I'm feeling it, but I've been thinking about it and I think there are two things that put me in the Christmas mood.
2. Focusing on Jesus and celebrating His birth
Traditions - I always enjoy thinking about my childhood at this time of year. Christmas is my favorite time of year and I have fond memories from Christmastime growing up. I can't say that I really incorporate any of my childhood traditions into my life now, but just the very air of Christmas brings back memories and makes me feel nostalgic. Older versions of Christmas carols make me feel like a child again. Since I've had Caroline, we've begun our own family traditions and those are the things that bring me the most joy. Getting out all the decorations are like seeing an old friend again. Each piece is special to me and I remember when and where I got most of them. Making hot chocolate, going to Opryland Hotel for pictures, watching a parade, singing carols, wrapping gifts, buying gifts - these are all the things we do together and they are our traditions. This year, we'll add a new tradition to our list - making a gingerbread house. I love to savor each moment while we're enjoying our Christmas activities.
Focusing on Jesus' birth - Yesterday I listened to one of my favorite Christmas songs and had an a-ha moment about Christmas. The song talked about God finally coming through on His promise of a Messiah. I got to thinking about all the years that people had been promised a Savior but he wasn't there yet. Now we have the priviledge of knowing Jesus as a personal friend and what a blessing that is! That alone should put us all in the Christmas spirit! I want to really focus on Him this Christmas and continually praise Him. Just as the angels sang praises the night He was born, we should sing praises all this season.
The Christmas spirit won't just automatically appear in our hearts, we have to focus on the things that bring us joy. What puts YOU in the Christmas spirit? Are you feelin' it yet?