A few years ago, I was coming home with my brother from my grandparent's house on Christmas Day. It began snowing pretty heavily about an hour or two before dark; it was really very beautiful. My grandpa kept telling us we needed to leave before the roads got too covered though. We waited just long enough for the roads to get about an inch of snow and ice on them before we left. As we were driving up one hill, the tires started spinning and the entire car began sliding back down the hill--I was scared to death. We ended up just off the edge of the road, unharmed--thankfully--at the bottom of the hill. I couldn't get us out of it though. We had to wait nearly two hours in the cold and dark before a tow truck was able to come to our rescue.
That's one Christmas memory I'll never forget.
This Christmas, however, was one of the best I can remember every which way around. Everyone got along; we had some of the best food ever, and more of it than we could ever possibly eat; I got a lot of really nice presents, and was glad to see how pleased everyone else seemed to be with theirs; we played games, watched movies, sang songs; and I was, for whatever reason, so full of joy throughout the whole thing it was just amazing. It probably helped that I didn't have any car wrecking experiences this time around. :)
That joy, that sense of excitement, of happiness, of peace, of optimism has clung to me the last few days. It's a good feeling, and I'm sure it happened mostly because my family was just able to come together and enjoy each other's company so. After the year we've all had, this was a much needed time of fun and camaraderie. But I'm also sure that it's because I got into the spirit of Christmas. I wanted Christmas this year more than I have in many years. I wanted to celebrate Christ's birth and be renewed by His Spirit. I wanted to see the lights and decorations. I wanted to hear and sing the songs. I wanted to watch the movies. I wanted to spend that time with my family and friends. I wanted to experience something good. And I did.
I like how at the end of the story/movie, A Christmas Carol, it is said that Scrooge kept Christmas all through the year. I'd like to do that myself. I'd like to keep the spirit of Christmas with me at all times. That might not happen, but I think I'll keep up the decorations a little extra longer this year just to help it to. Frankly, that's one thing I've never understood anyway: why people take down all the decorations so soon after Christmas. I mean, it's a long winter. What's wrong with keeping things festive looking throughout more of it? Anyway, it's a goal I'd like to achieve.
I hope you all had a very merry Christmas as well. I had planned to write something else on here before Christmas, but I never was able to find the time. I'll leave you now with a collection of some of my favorite Christmas songs, in the hope it will help preserve that spirit of Christmas for you. :)