Even though I’ve always been a ‘list-girl,’ I really didn’t think making a Christmas Bucket List would make that much of a difference. Well, Week 1 would indicate otherwise.
Week 1 was a smashing success, in my opinion – and the list was key. Several times, I wanted to bag out of a Christmas event, but because I ‘committed’ to the ‘list,’ I went ahead and did it – and I am so glad I did.
Here’s what I crossed off my list this week:
School Christmas Concert: Yes, mandatory, but a sincerely beautiful way to start the season. I might be a little biased, but our school band, orchestra and chorus are not like the nightmare stories you see on TV. They were amazing.
The Sound of Music- Technically, it’s not necessarily Christmas, but I always associate it with Christmas. J. went to bed early, so there was no fight for the TV (with football safely DVRed). I only watched an hour – maybe taking on Julie Andrews in a live TV production was a little too ambitious for a first acting gig? I love Carrie and I adore her voice, but it wasn’t enough for me to sacrifice a few hours of sleep on a school night. Sorry, Carrie.
Ladies Christmas Party: This was at my church, and it is always a good time. It’s an eclectic group, and I’m probably one of the youngest, but they are so kind and genuine and unpretentious that it really is a sweet experience. I truly find the somewhat old-school very refreshing: we ate potluck, made a craft (J chuckled at that…I’m not the most crafty girl), and sang Christmas carols in the tradition of a good, ole-fashioned Baptist ‘Hymn Sing.’ It wasn’t the fanciest or trendiest Christmas party, but faith at its simplest and humblest – and I love that.
Dickens Festival: After a baby shower today (yes, less than a month after my miscarriage, I went to a baby shower. More on that later), I went to the Dickens Festival with a friend and her husband. That was one of the events I almost passed on, but I am so glad I didn’t. We strolled in and out of the shops, walked around the town taking in the decorations, hung out by outside marshmallow fire pits, went to the ice-skating rink, walked through the park down by the water – all the while Dickens character out and about, circling the town. Very Christmas-y.
Advent Bible Study: This week, the theme was hope, which is truly what my heart has needed. My big take-away from this week is that God doesn’t forget His promises. It is all a matter of timing. Our job is really just to have faith that He hasn’t forgotten. When we have Him, we have every reason to hope.
Chopping the Christmas Tree: Well, we tried to chop a tree down. Unsuccessfully. We went on an outing with my old history teacher/current co-worker and his wife, son (my former student) and his wife. We loaded in the Mother Ship (what we call his big van) and headed east to chop the tree. After we walked and walked – and walked, we all three came out empty handed.
It was a tough day for our hero Jimmy as he traversed the forest and came out treeless (as my husband tells the story)… but we had so much fun and laughed so hard that it totally made up for not getting the tree. We passed a farm on the way out with pre-cut trees, and we got a beautiful tree there. It ended up costing $20 more, but this was a local, family business which has been there for 3 generations, and I feel much better about giving my money to them than to Home Depot. We finished the day off with a steak dinner, and that pretty much closed out a perfect weekend.
Here’s Advent, Week #2
1.Advent Bible Study topic this week: Love
2. Decorate the tree and the house – accompanied by Christmas movies and music – bring on Michael Buble Holiday on Pandora!
3. New to the list! Snow tomorrow! (Not enough for a snow day but still adds to the Christmas spirit!) Added bonus to the Bucket List!
4. Work Christmas Party on Thursday. Always a good time. Truly love hanging out with my co-workers.
5. Holiday Pack-Out: Our school packs 250 bags of food to donate to Lighthouse Mission, an amazing ministry that goes out sun, rain or snow to make sure people have food to eat and hear about Jesus. Love seeing the whole school involved in this!
6. Christmas coffee date with an old friend at Starbucks (Gingerbread Latte, here I come.)
7. Decorate the yard on Saturday, then a Ministry Christmas Party at our pastor’s house that evening.
8. Church Christmas Party – yup, another potluck in the church basement, and I love it all. Might even be some ugly sweaters involved. (Now, that’s trendy, right??)
This has truly been therapeutic for me. In spite of my loss, this is such a great reminder that there is still so much good in life, so much to be enjoyed. I’ve also started a ‘Golden List’ (told you I’m a list-girl), writing 5 things I am thankful for in each day, before I go to bed. Little by little, I feel like I am becoming myself again.
Advent is all about the preparation for the coming of something extremely important or significant. Just as I blogged last year when I miscarried, I am reminded all over again that it’s not so much that we celebrate that Jesus came, but praise God, He still comes.
Thank you, Jesus, that You came – and that You still come. Now. Into my world. And it changes everything. Thank You for slowly bringing joy back to my heart.