This is an advent series I’ve done each morning on these days leading up to Christmas. I’ve been featuring found photos from the past seventeen years that feature a favorite corner (and memory) in our home. Please check back later today for our annual holiday letter – and we wish you and yours a joyful season of celebration.
(twenty-four) December 2009. I’m back where I started, at the Christmas tree in the corner of the living room. It’s eight years after that photo I shared on December 1st at the start of this season. The tree is decorated, and the door for the Christmas elves is installed at the base of the tree. The girls have assumed their positions for maximum twinkle viewing pleasure, and E is telling her sister something about these important holiday traditions while F listens carefully and learns the ropes. At this point we are almost six months into our journey as a family of four, and our lives are feeling a little more calm with each passing week. 2009 was not the easiest of years, but everyone stepped up to the challenges as needed. I’ve always approached the season of advent as a practice, being intentional in the ways that I take in and give out the joys and celebrations of the holidays. It’s very easy to reduce this time to a series of lists to be worked through and marked off, but the practice of preparation can be such a gift if I’m careful to approach it in that way. When I look at this photo I feel calm. There are no presents in the photo – perhaps they were just out of the frame, or maybe they weren’t even purchased or wrapped yet. The floor is suspiciously free and clear of pine needles, so there might be a vacuum cleaner nearby, next to that set of sneakers just at the edge of the frame. I think it’s that moment that we call the tree “done!”, we box up the tissue and bubble wrap and extra light boxes into the Christmas bins, we sweep up the needles and dim the lights and sit with the tree for awhile. I love the high ceilings in our house, I love the way the trees fill the room and transform it for the darkest month of the year. I love these faces, my babies, as they take in the wonder of the season. They bring me peace, they give me hope. They are our Christmas. They are our home.
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