There are several things I love about Christmas: the tree, the music, the cookies and the love and goodwill that can come from a complete stranger.
Then there are the things that bring me down. The commercialism, the wishes of "happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", the anxiety of getting all the gifts bought and wrapped, the added stress on a single income budget and etc..
Last year I believe I had an easier time with Christmas. Most likely because I was caught up in it being our first in VA in our new house. This year however, with it being our first without dad I'm trying to go into the season with my eyes wide open. Maybe if I go into it fully aware that it will be difficult and I need to focus on the true reason for the season all may just turn out well.
Mom is flying in December 22 and staying until January 4. I'm bound and determined to make this a wonderful Christmas for her and in order for that to happen I need to be in the right frame of mind.
Advent starts tomorrow. I already have the wreath on the table with candles ready to light. (Need to replace them with new ones, but they'll get us started.) After reading the blog of an online blogging friend, I'm going to use her ideas of incorporating the Jesse tree into the ornaments for our tree, and remember the saints who have feast days during Advent. As I did last year, I will celebrate the feast of St. Nicholas with a small gift for each of the kids and we'll read the story of St. Nick.
I expect there will be some days that will prove to be more difficult than others, but I'm going to put my best foot forward and make this a blessed Advent and Christmas.