Mom poked her head into the kitchen. I was making room in the fridge for the turkey and rice soup we had just enjoyed (Thanksgiving leftovers put to good use). “Are you good, or do you want to drop it and help us?”
“I’m good,” I said. I enjoy cleaning, and the kitchen was quiet.
They were decorating our newly-scored Christmas tree. I was cleaning up after dinner in the half hour I had left before dance class. It felt like I should be in the living room, even though it wasn’t really a family occasion–Spencer is back to college in another state, and Becca was at church. The darkness outside that evening made the lights inside seem cozy. I gave it up –I squeezed the soup pot into the fridge and headed for the living room, navigating the un-swept floor. What was I doing by myself in the kitchen anyway?
I got down on my knees and started helping attach wire hooks to our glass balls. I back and forth ran from the bin of decorations to the Christmas tree, and there and back again. The glitter stuck to my jeans and my hands.
“I love this color scheme,” I said, looking over our fir, which was turning into a pillar of red and blue and silver.
“Good.” Mom smiled. “That makes me happy.”
She had turned on this gorgeous, gentle, instrumental music and the whole thing felt magical. If there’s one thing that gives me nostalgia, it’s Christmas music.
I love Christmas, and I’m so excited for this new Christmas season. Happy December, readers!
I should have realized how much Cat’s Forest would take over when I decided to post it almost everyday, in the busiest month of the year. But I of course I didn’t. Anyway, I didn’t post about Christmas much, except for my story. I might do some deeper Christmas posts now, after the fact; but I think this was mostly a year of Catania, and that’s okay.
In the meantime, you should read this post that a fellow blogger of mine posted yesterday:
He’s Here: The Christ Candle ~ Ramblings of a Writer
This authoress has mastered the art of word-craft, and this post is simply beautiful. The peaceful flow of the words is pleasant and calming, and it paints a crystal clear picture of the starry nightfall of the first Christmas. You should read it.
Hopping down an unrelated bunny-trail, do y’all know about the whole “elf on a shelf” thing? Well, my Mother found this, and I couldn’t help but share it:
So awesome, I really have no words. I lost Santa elves about the time I found Middle Earth. 🙂
Merry Christmas, readers!! Thanks for reading my rambles.
It’s Christmas!!! The greatest gift in the world was given today!
And that’s why Christmas is a time of giving.
So I thought I would post these now, as a present to all my faithful readers. These are three pictures I drew of things in The Sacrifice, and I thought I would post them to tide you guys over.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t considering the Christmastime busyness when I planned our fall/winter schedule, and I haven’t been getting in as much writing and editing as I had hoped. And editing is turning out to be a bigger job than I had expected, and I’m considering leaving out a character because he doesn’t play a very major role. So. . . The Sacrifice might be a little later than I thought. I’m very sorry, and I’ll get it up here as soon as I can.
Thank you all for your patience and your enthusiasm!
★ ★ ★ Merry Christmas!!! ★ ★ ★
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. . . The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
-John 1:1-5, 14
I drew a couple pictures recently, and then realized they were a little Christmas-y, so I thought I would post them. Enjoy!
I was inspired to draw this squirrel when we left a cup of tea outside by mistake (a while ago, when it was much warmer!), and I found the teabag torn open like something had tried to eat the tea-leaves!
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
-Luke 2:10, 11
When someone in your family has a birthday, it makes you want to do something nice for them. You want to make them feel special. It’s easy to tell someone “happy birthday!”, and it usually makes them feel good. But would we be willing to do something more?
We can have the right mentality about Christmas, but that doesn’t feel like enough, does it?
Continue reading Something More
The older you get, the less exciting Christmas becomes. (My sincere apologies to all my readers who are younger than I am.)
You begin realize that it’s not necessarily the best time of year, it can be kind-of stressful, and there’s always that inevitable after-Christmas-let-down.
So when you get old enough to realize you shouldn’t center the season around presents and you’ll probably just be disappointed if you do, you were never crazy about the food or decorations, and you like the music but you can’t live off jingle bells–what next?
Well, you turn to what should have been our focus in the first place–Christ.
You don’t go to a birthday party just because you want the cake (I least I hope you don’t!), you go because you want to encourage whoever is having the birthday.
The last song on Rend Collective’s Christmas album is called “For All That You Have Done”. Jesus has a birthday because He was born to be tortured to death. He has done everything for us. Given us everything.
The least we can do is celebrate His birthday for Him.
Skyping with Becca and Spencer. Yes, they are playing the piano. Lucy loves music, and she was very excited to see she would have a piano at home! 🙂
And our visit to Shamian Island! It is such a neat place!
There were mini Terracotta Warriors everywhere!
Lots of photo shoots–mostly in wedding dresses.
I could not get over this girl’s hair:
And some photo shoots of this. I don’t know.
And I don’t remember how exactly I got this. I just remember Dad saying “Take a picture of her shoes,” and trying to. It turned out surprisingly good. They’re pretty shoes–though I would twist an ankle in them, most likely! 🙂
Not sure where this guy was headed. He didn’t appear to have an owner.
Blondies get lots of stares in China–and an occasional request for a picture together!
P.S. Did I mention that they celebrate Christmas in China?
Painting Chinese characters–with water. They’ll evaporate in a matter of hours, but he still does it.
This lady was a waitress at our hotel’s breakfast buffet and was incredibly sweet! She helped us figure out what to feed our girl, told us what Chinese kids often eat, and brought our breakfast up to our room our first morning with Lucy!
An in-country plane-ride to Guangzhou! Our sparrow had never flown before, and she was giddy with excitement! That girl is so brave!
I actually thought the food on the in-country flight was better than the American food! 🙂
Distinct. Something lost in translation, maybe?
P.S. They celebrate Christmas in China–big time.