Christmas is different this year. I was worried it would be depressing, given my recent divorce. Instead, I have found the opposite to be true. My ex was a grinch when it came to Christmas. He hated Christmas music and would only watch two Christmas movies, "A Christmas Story" and "Christmas Vacation." I used to like those movies, but when they are the only two you watch, they get old real fast.
The other thing he would throw a fit about was when to put up the Christmas tree. I always wanted to do it the day after Thanksgiving, but most years he would want to wait until the first weekend in December. I'm learning I silenced myself often; it was just easier.
But this year, the week of Thanksgiving, I realized, I can do whatever I want now that I'm on my own. I prefer a real tree, but now that I live alone, it seemed more logical to buy an artificial tree. And I was determined to have it up before Thanksgiving.
So on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I went to Vernal with some friends and they helped me pick out a tree. I am in LOVE with it. Its super busy and if it were 6 inches taller, it would hit the ceiling. In the past, I was always limited to a 6 foot tree, or close to that. This one is over 7 feet tall!
I also bought several Christmas movies, book and CD's. I feel like I'm making up for 15 years of suppressed Christmas excitement. I wanted to buy new tree decorations, until I pulled out my old ones and remembered how much I love the red flowers and green poinsettias. I didn't use any of my other old decorations, but I did find some pretty white poinsettias to add to it this year. I think it is the perfect tree for me.
Of course, the cats think its for them. They sleep and play under it all of the time. It drove the ex nuts, but as long as they leave the decorations alone, I let them stay under there. There was a few days where I woke up to one of the green poinsettias on the floor each morning, and I have to fix the tree skirt every day. But other than that, they have been pretty good.
I've been on the lookout for a pretty JOY decoration. It seems to be my theme these days. God has fixed my broken heart and restored my joy. Not only has He restored it, but He has restored it ten fold to what it used to be. I am in awe daily at how happy I am. I started the year married; my ex left in the summer, for another woman. I should be laying in bed crying. I'm so glad I serve a God who is always faithful. He has not only carried me, but He has given me new life.
I did find a joy sign, but it looks Christmas-y. I wanted to find one I could leave up all year long to remind me of my JOY. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, I went to Vernal with Barbara and Melanie. Just another reason I am grateful for God and how He has found a way for me to keep in contact with those I love so much.
While at a store, they helped me find the perfect JOY for my coffee table. I added some red poinsettias to it for Christmas, but the rest of the year, it will be perfect on its own.
I also found a small Joy sign. I bought one for my bedroom mirror and another one for my desk at work. I love being surrounded by this little reminder that God will give us joy, no matter our circumstances.
I once thought I would dread the holidays. But I was wrong. With Jesus as my focus, all things are beautiful. I can't think of a better time to focus my joy on the birth of my Savior and all He did for me.