Christmas has come and gone and to be honest, it went by so fast I had no clue what the heck was going on most of the time. This year has been a very strange holiday time to be honest, I never really felt the whole Christmas spirit descend on me, never really felt that excitement or optimism for this season that I usually get in one way or another. And I think I sabotaged myself, to be quite honest.
In my eager state of havng my own home to decorate for the first time (I have been buying Christmas decorations here and there for the past three years so it wouldnt come as a huge bankruptcy when I did finally have my own place) I decorated my house and turned on the holiday channel wayyy wayyy too early. As in the first weekend of November early. And I did get that sense of joy when everything was put up, however it wore off, and as the month finished and December started, and everybody went decoration crazy, I just had had enough by then. I mean I love Christmas, but not two months worth of nonstop music and decorations. Get what I mean, jellybean? So that was largely to blame for erroding my Christmas spirit.
As my understand of Advent deepened with observing and seeing, I also think that my early bird attitude kind of messed up the whole feeling of aniticipation I so wanted to create. Next year will be very much different, if I have anything to say about it! I didnt finish my clay version of the crèche, partly because I ran out of time, and partly because I ran out of skills. Maybe I will make this into a goal, to brush up on my skills as a clay sculptor through various projects so that next year my baby Jesus wont look like a macaroni in a blanket. I did keep up with my readings, which I am very proud of, because pacing myself when I read is not something I regularly do. I read very fast, niot because I am forcing myself, but that is just my regular speed. So to read only certain chapters in the Bible was tough, because I just wanted to keep on going and its so easy to just lose yourself and keep turning the page and before you know it, you`ve finished 50 pages rather than the 2 you were supposed to read. But I was pleasantly surprised at the control I was able to exhibit, and to be honest, restraining myself really helped me feel Advent much better. Reading part by part and day by day helped me be able to meditate on that particular passage throughout the day, and brought me to a heightened state of understanding, and of anticipation. There are many things that I did not or could not do that is associated with Advent that I mean to do in the future (covering up images of His Face, Jesse Tree, hay in the manger etc) but all in all a very satisfying first experience which will only just prepare me better for next year! I think that Advent (and most certainly Midnight Mass) had much more effect on me this year than anything else
I have a new found respect for army wives/husbands. Not that my situation is in any way comparable to theirs (I shudder to imagine it). However, my seperation from Jeff was much tougher than I had imagined. I havent slept apart from Jeff in almost 3 years, and to suddenly be faced with that lack of him for two weeks makes me realize how much he means to me, and what he brings to my life. I am blessed by his presence and what he brings to my life, and maybe I should make a better effort to let him know that (I can be quite hard on him at times, tough love you see), and although simple things like keeping our home clean and homey is a very valid way to show him I love him, it can go beyond that. Like going that extra step to cook him those cookies he loves, or making sure his pjs are underneath his pillow, etc. really does make a difference, and too often lately I have let the stress of work and school bring me down, without thinking of him... Absence makes the heart grow fonder, at least, right? Right!