Christmas is almost here – I lit the fourth Advent candle this morning when I had my breakfast. And I just realized that I have never before in my entire life had to prepare for Christmas all alone. But I also realized that I had instinctively taken care to incorporate all the rituals of Christmases past as I prepared. Funny how we take care of ourselves without realizing it. This Advent has been one of joy and thanksgiving for me, where it could have been a pitiful celebration of loneliness.
This season of preparation did begin on a high note, with my friend coming and helping me buy and decorate my Christmas tree. and buying me the lovely star that has shone in my dining room window all month. But after she left, I made sure that the tree lights sparkled every day, even if I didn’t always take the time to sit and admire them. Carols rang out most days on my sound system, an eclectic mix of traditional, modern, and very old, including the Russian Orthodox ones I bought in Egersund.
I’ve sprinkled the house with most of my Christmas treasures – gathered and cherished throughout my life……. the tiny bread dough ornament my son made when he was almost 2 years old, or the three bells he made in school when he was young.
Many other ornaments have stories as well – the bread dough sheep made by my friend in Regina, who is now struggling with cancer. A clothes pin reindeer from another friend I have lost touch with. Bead ornaments made by my nieces and nephew in BC. All the ornaments brought by friends to that tree-trimming party held the first Christmas I was in Kuwait. The list goes on….. I am blessed with so much history and so many friends who have made my life richer in countless ways.
The nativity set I bought in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan that came with an extra lamb, and has since acquired more sheep and camels of all shapes and sizes.
My new Norwegian Santas, looking very much like Nordic gnomes, and my Kuwaiti doll, all decked out for Christmas.
Tthe new runner given by a Secret Santa back in Canada that compliments my glass angels so beautifully.
I’ve made cookies as well, even though I don’t need cookies. But what is Christmas without the lemon balls –or date pinwheels, my Grandmother’s recipe. My cousin was just commenting about how they remind her of her Mother, recently passed away.
Gingerbread cookies too. I planned to cut them out in all these wonderful shapes –
but there was no way to get the dough stiff enough to roll with my food processor, and it was late. I remember making a batch of these to give to my Father each Christmas – this is the 23rd Christmas without him. They will taste just as good this way –
and I will remember him whenever I eat one.
December 23rd – a friend coming in an hour from Kuwait to spend Christmas with me, a carol service tonight in the Stavanger Cathedral, hopefully a chance to talk to David in Russia, and to family in Canada on or around Christmas. We still have some snow for Christmas too, and a bit more predicted to be on the way.
I have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas – and I’m glad that I realize it.
Merry Christmas to each of you.