Monday, December 03, 2007

Looking forward to Christmas

I am really excited for Christmas this year. Some years, it is really stressful, like when you move on December 29th and the church leaves you a note saying "please clean the parsonage before you go." Or when you move on December 29th because you are renting from church members and they jack the rent to 1000 a month and so you have to move to a 3rd floor apartment in a town 30 minutes away. Or you move on December 29th and the truck with all your stuff breaks down in Jamestown, NY and you are four months pregnant and sleep on the floor of a drafty rental house and catch your death of a cold. Or when you just flat out don't have any money...that's stressful too.

But this year, I won the Pioneer Woman's contest and so we still don't have any money, but we got to go shopping any way and so I'm am heretofore, excited about Christmas. I decorated full-on on Saturday and look forward to doing a little more today...with pictures to ensue.

I have sometimes wondered about the appropriateness of celebration. In the circles where I grew up, celebration was fine as long as you were dressed properly, didn't show undo amounts of emotion such as raising of your hands or shouting, and expressed distain for enjoying yourself in solidarity for the many unhappy and poor and destitute people in the world. And of course, no dancing or drinking, but you were welcome to gluttony.

But ever since reading Lauren Winner's delightful Mudhouse Sabbath, I have taken a different stance on celebration. It seems that seasons of celebration were mandatory for the children of God. He mandated joyous traditions that incorporated all the senses and with regularity, set seasons of both celebration and introspection in place. It is apparently honoring to God to enter into all the ranges of human emotion. I began to see my "holding back" as a way of holding back on honoring God.

And so, I'm celebrating...hanging lights, planning cookies and parties, making wreaths, decorating, lighting candles, cuddling up with my family, looking forward to Christmas with an open heart.

4 comments:

gerbmom said...

I love, love, LOVE Lauren Winners books!!! Not too many people I know have read them, and I keep recommending them to everyone I know.

Glad to hear you're feeling better, and enjoying the FUN of the season.

Now, if I could just muster up the energy to put up the tree.......

H said...

I'm so glad you found your Christmas groove. I agree and took many of the same principals away from the book. Merry Christmas......it's not a sin.....who knew.

Ron said...

Ya, Ness - I gonna wear my Blades of Glory outfit for the 12 days before Christmas...

Amy said...

Ness,

You should go see the movie, "This Christmas". A girlfriend and I went and saw the movie last Saturday and I decided last week that a new tradition will start in our home this year for Christmas...
dancing. We love to dance anyway and I believe that dancing is such a wonderful way to celebrate.

I too was raised "no dancing, no drinking". Drinking--take it or leave it but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE dancing. I love it so much, I used to "sin" with the rest of my class at our legalistic school and go to under 18 dance clubs almos every weekend of our senior year. Tisk, Tisk.

Have a Merry Christmas, Ness, enjoy your family. You're on my "prayer list," girl. I so feel you.

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