Today our pastor suggested that there are five seasons each year: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Christmas.
Now, I’m not an “Amen!” yellin’ type of person, but if I were, you might have heard an “Amen!” followed by a “Preach it Brother!” escape my lips. But since I’m a bit more reserved I sat in my seat and quietly nodded my head while looking at Chad with a smile on my face. Our pastors words were not my own, although they could have been. I, too, see this glorious month from Thanksgiving until New Year as separate and distinct from the other seasons of the year. While Chad tends to get a bit annoyed at the commercialism of Christmas I dive right in and see the season as both magical and sacred.
I have so many wonderful childhood memories built around this time. Like it was yesterday, I recall taking hay rides through tree farms to cut down our own tree. I remember drinking hot chocolate and eating warm popcorn as we traveled through bumpy terrain to find the tree that would be perfect for us. Oh, and decorating the tree was not something that was done in haste. No way. It was an event.
The afternoon was spent preparing appetizers for our tree decorating extravaganza and as soon as daylight turned to darkness, my grandparents would arrive. While the adults sat around the Christmas tree talking and snacking, my brother, sister, and I would take out ornaments, one by one. With each ornament you could expect to hear an excited “look at this one!” as if we were seeing it for the very first time. Hours later, after each ornament was placed on the tree, we kids would retire to our bedrooms, exhausted, while the adults stayed up late into the night moving all the ornaments from the bottom quarter of the tree and spreading them out through the entire tree.
I think that’s where it began. . . my love for this fifth season.
Chad and I may not have the same enthusiasm for this season, but I married a good man who humors me and dives right in to transform our home for this special time. We did just that this weekend beginning with picking out our tree from a fantastic little tree farm owned by one of the nicest gentleman you’d ever meet.
Once we got our 8 foot beauty home we began our decorating. This was the fun part. For the first time, Charlie and Chanelle were really involved. As we unpacked piece by piece, exclamations of “Oh, look at this!” and “Mommy, this is my favorite!” were heard all over the place.
(Be still my heart.)
They were so excited with each little addition we brought down from the attic. From the stockings to the advent calender and from the snowman to the ornaments. . . they loved it all. There is one thing, however, that seems to rank above the rest. . . .
. . . the quaint little village that rests on top of our cabinets in the kitchen. A gift, given to the kids each Christmas, from my in-laws. The kids love this village, as do I.
After everything was pulled together and our home was lit only by the soft glow of Christmas lights, even Chad commented, “I love the way our house looks at Christmastime”. Ahhh, yes, Christmas. . . it has the power to soften all hearts. . .
Yes, I love this season for all that it encompasses. I love the lights, the music, the baking, the exchanging of gifts, and the Christmas programs with singing children. I especially love A Charlie Brown Christmas and carolers walking along the sidewalk. I enjoy the anticipation of snow falling to the ground and the sounds of volunteers ringing bells outside every store front. But the thing I love most about Christmas is the togetherness. The taking time to sit and be with family and friends when slowing down is seen as acceptable. The way that love seems to fill the air so much that you can smell it. It is all good. And never far from my awareness is a knowledge of what Christmas is all about. . .
The Fifth Season. . . I’m so happy it’s here. . .