It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Peter and I decided to put up the Christmas tree this weekend and officially welcome the holiday season into our cozy second floor duplex. If you want my opinion, the tree should have gone up the day after Halloween and we could have enjoyed the twinkle lights, childhood ornaments (including an orangutan and lots of baby dolls), and Sybil’s picturesque naps under the tree for that many more days. Christmas can never come too early in my eyes, but I have learned that certain folk around here have very strong feelings about appropriate holiday timeframes. So, we waited to put up the tree due to a busy schedule and peer pressure. To them I say, “To each their own”, and to me I say, “Can I get a tree for every room?” Ultimately, the answer is no.
Christmas is my definite favorite time of year. Ask any one who knows me and they will certainly agree that my internal clock cycles around Christmas. It is the start and end to my calendar year and what I find myself looking forward to beginning December 27th (the 26th is devoted to post-Christmas depression and only that). As you can imagine, I was itching to decorate the tree. I was eager for the forthcoming nights of beaming warmth that set the scene for my one-woman shows that include Claymation sing-a-longs while dressed in my Santa PJs, novelty socks, and mistletoe headband. That actually happens all the time and I suddenly feel very bad for Peter.
After the boxes were awakened from their slumber and brought up from the basement, we stacked the tree, added multiple strings of lights and sprinkled the ornaments about with minimal bickering (newlyweds, can I get a hallelujah?). Then, an unsolicited feeling that has burrowed its way into my body for the last year became overwhelmingly apparent: tiredness. Next, the dreaded mental reminder that I have become sick of hearing crooned: Sit down and take a break. “Take a break” has practically become my mantra this year and I dislike it very much. Honestly, I wanted to keep going, and so I threw a silent tantrum and walked my sorry Christmas-self to the couch and sat down to pout.
It is in these moments that I realize how little control I have in my own body. How I spend my days strategizing and how some days that perfect strategy doesn’t even come close to fruition. It is discouraging. I want to keep up with my husband and prove that I am fine, that CF plays such a small role physically that I am able to push on. In reality, this is far from the truth and my supply of oomph empties long before the project is finished usually.
Still taking a break…
After those negative feelings dissipated and I came to my senses, I heard this year’s counterargument faintly whispered, “Be still.”
To me, “Be still” is an unabridged prompt to the goodness that is my life. Be still means:
Janeil, rest now and enjoy this moment you have been given. Take it all in, smile at the people around you, and be grateful for this day. Be still in your discouragement and worry. Be still in your plan and expectations. Be still in your stubbornness and resistance. Be still in your pain and fatigue. Be still and rest. Be still and know that I am God.
The Christmas tree went up, I rested, and the Savior that is born this month fulfilled the everlasting promise of contentment in my life. I love Christmas for this very reason. Christmas beckons for us to be still. It is a time to cast away our worries and our darkness to focus on the glory and joyfulness of the past, present, and future. I have been abundantly cared for this year, despite my inability to be still. Christmas is a time to celebrate that noble gift and I plan to do just that (in my mistletoe headband).
Happy holidays, everyone! I hope your homes are filled with peace, warmth, and joy this month and always.