So it's just a universally accepted fact at this point that time moves faster at this time of year than at any other. You think a day has gone by and it has been almost a week. We all know it. It still hits me up-side the head, though.
I love old photos of Christmas trees, reflecting the utter pride and love people feel once they get their masterpieces decorated. I also appreciate what they say about the times -- about how much (or how little, I suppose) was just enough. I have some old pictures that my parents took when they were newlyweds, new parents, of their decorated tree and the gifts spread out below, and I think about how precious it was to them, how monumental (and photo-worthy) it was. It helps to remember that it wasn't very long ago that photos were NOT instant nor instantly disposable -- that to take out the camera and use film really meant something.
We're going to hear Candlelight Carols at Trinity Church in Boston in a couple of weeks; if you live in the area and have never experienced this I can highly recommend it. This choir is one that instills in you complete awe that human voices can be so beautiful, so perfect, and celebrates the richness of Christmas music. When we lived in Boston, we used to go to Trinity Church for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, which is also an intense, awe-inspiring experience that I can highly recommend (whether you are religious or not). I hope someday to be able to take Dean to a Midnight Mass, just so he can have that experience, although the churches out our way are not nearly as majestic.
I'm working away on my gift projects, happily and contentedly. Sending my sister's family homemade cookies and not feeling guilty about it. And hey, we're even going to go get our tree tomorrow night; with so many people decorating earlier and earlier, we've realized that if we don't get on the bandwagon then we'll end up again, as we did last year, having a "choice" of one tree by the time we get to the lot. We do buy cut trees now. We did buy and successfully replant live trees for many years, but it's not workable anymore. Our cut tree purchase supports the tree farmer who keeps his fields planted in trees (and not turned into over-sized housing developments) and we have space in the woods behind our house to leave the trees out to rot (and support all kinds of wildlife along the way). We'll start reading our Christmas books, and watching our holiday movies soon. I just wish I wasn't the only one in the family who likes eggnog....