the lights are twinkling. the ornaments twist gently on their hooks. the tree is trimmed. the stockings are hung. I can't even describe how much I love just watching the lights. I feel truly at home. almost as if we were all on my parents' couch, waiting to open our Christmas Eve present of pjs.
pulling out the ornaments tonight. the memories snuck in. the bows and glass balls that I bought for my very first grown-up tree when I couldn't afford anything else. the ornaments my mom bought for me, after realizing I had nothing but glass balls and bows on my tree. and the needlepoint ornament my grandma made for me.
I used to think my mom was a bit of a nutcase when she'd tear up while we decorated the tree. now I think I understand. the ornaments my sister and I bought together when we first moved in together after she was done with college and I with grad school. and the one she gave me last year after she got married and moved out.
the ornaments that were presents from friends. the ornaments created amidst wine and the laughter of friends. and of course the ornaments chewed with love by TheDog last year, after ten Christmas trees left completely alone.
each decoration a memory of Christmases past. a few new to mark this Christmas. each adding a little bit of cheer. each a reminder of all the wonderful things the holiday season is really about.
and as I sit and admire the lights glinting off the ornaments, I have decided to try and remember this contentment when I'm stuck in holiday traffic or cramming most of my shopping into a few hours.
after a great night out last week, a fun weekend hanging out with close friends, and a little sentimental tree-trimming tonight, I think I've finally found my elusive holiday spirit.