Tag Archives: christmas

Looking for focus

img_20161201_014159I’ve done a lot of writing this year… I’ve just failed to complete most of it. My blog’s post feed has had many drafts never see the light of day, most eventually just getting deleted.

The reason for that is that I feel like I have been lacking focus on all of those posts. My mind running around in twenty different directions, wanting to write about every little nuance of a train of thought… only to get derailed and frustrated. Scared of the comments I’ll get.

2016 has been an interesting year, full of ups, downs and plenty of straight stretches of just keep on, keepin’ on. And as we enter the last month of the year, I find myself needing to focus on so many little tasks I’ve let just ride through the year. My to do list of things I’d like to get done before Christmas is a little overwhelming.

But, my mom told me about how at mass this last weekend, the emphasis was on it being the season of Advent. We are in a time of preparation. And a great way for me to prepare for Christmas is to get all these things off my back that I’ve just procrastinated handling. All these things that are subconsciously holding me back from enjoying the season.

One thing that’s weighed on my mind, though, is how I’ve neglected this blog. My goal for December is to post EVERY day in preparation for Christmas. Some days it may only be a photo or two. Other days, maybe I’ll take my chances and be more candid than normal on my thoughts about the world. Who knows. But I want to write. I need to write.

Last night, I watched the special movie Christmas of Many Colors and I bawled though the end of it. I couldn’t begin to tell you how badly I needed to see that. I was literally doing the ugly crying thing at the end. Pretty sure that had my husband been home, I’d have scared him.

Understand, being married to a man who is working with the touring industry — be in when he’s playing music or driving bus — December (and January, and February, and often March) is a scary time. The touring just stops, and so does our bread and butter. But somehow, someway, over the last 10 years we’ve pulled through. Sometimes its been just relying on friends and family to help us. Other times it comes out of the blue, and we can make our mortgage and put food on our table. Yet the start of every December, this stress creeps up. How are we going to do this again?

We will get through this winter once again. One way or another it’ll happen. We always do. Some people would call it luck. Others would just call it good networking. I choose to call it faith that He will provide. And I will be ready to accept any gift he gives us to get us through the winter.


Does anyone else have memories as a child that are more like snapshots in a photo album? Or maybe they’re more like short Vine videos that when you click on them they play in a loop.

I click memories like that a lot at Christmas. Small, random memories that are so mundane and random, but that all mean so much to me. ALL of them have the same emotion: anticipation of the upcoming Christmas festivities.

Oh sure, as a kid it came down to being excited about getting presents. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that. But as I got older the anticipation came less from presents and more from a peaceful place.

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I remember laying under the Christmas tree and looking up. I’d marvel at the different point of view, and the lights glowing above me almost like stars in the sky.

I remember putting the lighted nativity outside every year, and I’d carry the lighted baby Jesus like a real baby, taking it very seriously.

I remember helping my brother put the lights on the bush outside and not knowing he’d already plugged the strand in, and sticking my finger right into the socket I was about to screw the bulb into.

I remember new Christmas dresses, and feeling so pretty when I finally got to wear them.

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I remember my parents giving me books for Christmas and begging me to not read them all in one day.

I remember the “Christmas program” we would do at Grandma’s house, singing carols and reading poems. I remember family pictures, documenting the years and the way the family grew year by year.

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I remember driving through the streets of the next town over, bumper to bumper with others looking at the Christmas lights.

I remember singing in the children’s choir before Christmas Eve mass, and then taking the nativity scene up piece by piece.

I remember driving home from mass late one night, and watching a shooting star cross the sky… and feeling the deep peace and contentment of that moment.

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It feels like through the years, as we’ve all gotten busier and Christmas has become more and more commercialized, that peace has gotten harder to find. The anticipation of the holiday has been replaced with stress. And instead of focusing on Christmas, we’re already worried about New Years Eve plans. Add into all of that, the extreme unrest in this world today.

This year… this year I’ve actually for one of the first times felt sad leading into Christmas. I’ve felt sad that I’ve had to force time to put up the tree. I’ve had to just decide to bake some cookies (store bought dough, because where on Earth am I going to find the time to make them from scratch?). I’ve sent out Christmas cards, but I already know many, many people won’t be sending any and my mailbox just isn’t as much fun to go check as usual. To pay the bills, my husband has to be away from home more than normal working, so I’ve watched all the Christmas specials all alone.

I’ve thankfully only missed one mass this advent — I’ve enjoyed the sermons on finding Joy.

I’m working on it…

Christmas party surrounded by friends-like-family.


I’m looking forward to taking time to go see some Christmas lights with friends this week. And I’m excited my church is having a live nativity that my husband has no idea I’m dragging him to see. I’m looking forward to seeing my family soon. I’m looking forward to looking up to the sky searching for another shooting star.

Oh I’ll find my Christmas anticipation. I always do, its just a little delayed this year. I pray you find yours as well. Perhaps you already have it, and if so please do share it!IMG_1720