(one) December 2001. This is the northwest corner of the living room, where we used to put the tree before we built the bookshelves. It was our second year in this house, and our second gigantic Christmas tree. In this photo, M is holding our godson (almost two at the time) pretty high up into the air – perhaps to look at a certain ornament near the top. He’s holding his little body as stiff as a board while he is lifted. I remember those early Christmases when we celebrated with our best friends, unwrapping all of our homemade gifts. In this photo I can see the curtains my grandmother made for the front windows – a big improvement over the cardboard we had in the windows during our first Christmas in the house. That tree had about thirty-ornaments on it; the branches look so bare. He’ll be seventeen soon.
I often feel like November flies by, and then December is here and we’re just not ready. We’ve had mixed results with advent calendars – I love the idea of counting down until Christmas, but sometimes it feels like it’s too much. But ready or not, it’s December, and I want to feel ready, prepared. Not so much in the to-do list sort of ready, but open to all the season has to offer.
I’m thinking a lot about our house these days. To be honest, I’m feeling a little nostalgic as well. I have plenty of quiet hours ahead of me this month to think about it some more, and so I’ve set aside a small little advent moment each day. No chocolates or little toys to unwrap. Just a memory from a certain corner of the house, and my heart. Few of them are tidy or neat; few are significant or momentous. All of them mean home to me.