The Season of Light and Gratitude

The Season of Light and Gratitude

(There will be more installments of my adventures to come, but for now, my heart simply couldn’t hold the joy of the season inside any longer!)

thanksgiving-turkey

When I think of Thanksgiving, I also think of Christmas, because the two holidays are so completely intertwined.  Not in the materialistic or commercial way some people think, but because of the dear meanings they hold to me.

girl and tree

Dealing with a bit of jet lag and waking up at 2 am, I couldn’t get my mind to shut off.  Having recently returned from England, I was already full of happiness after seeing my family again after a month. Though I laid there trying to sleep, I found myself humming a Christmas song and feeling like a child full of excitement. 

Nope, there would be no sleeping for me.  I threw back the covers, pulled out the Christmas decorations, put on the music (quietly so as not to disturb my upstairs landlady) and began to put them up feeling a bit giddy.

Season of Light

With each unwrapping, I couldn’t stop smiling.  Every ornament and decoration held beautiful memories of family and friendships and love.  I hadn’t opened this particular box for several years and I had forgotten.  I put on one of my favorite Christmas CD’s and the familiar music brought tears to my eyes.  I felt joy bubble up inside of me and could only describe it as pure gratitude and love.

The Savior and the child

Gratitude for nature in all of its glories.  Gratitude for my own small home and the peace I feel every time I open the door and step inside.  Gratitude for each and every miracle of love I have received over my lifetime from my family and friends near and far.  And most of all, gratitude for my Savior, Jesus Christ, whom I celebrate with joy and wonder this season.

How could Thanksgiving not be interwoven with Christmas?  A grateful heart finds joy in giving and a giving heart finds joy in selflessly serving with love.  For the recipient, the act of love warms their lives with gratitude.  The circle is complete.  So for those who wish to put up their Christmas decorations alongside their Thanksgiving decorations, you are really just celebrating the joy that comes from the Season of Light, Love, Gratitude and Giving.  What could be more wonderful than that?

Night and Thanksgiving

The Peace of a Quiet Christmas

The Peace of a Quiet Christmas

The spicy aroma of Christmas cookies baking, feathery snowflakes falling outside in the gathering twilight, candles are burning next to me and quiet Christmas music is playing.  To me, this is perfection in winter.  I love all the seasons of the year for their different reasons, but there is something so wonderful about the quietness of winter.

Though there are often more parties, events and errands to attend to at Christmas than at any other time of the year, the peace of winter lies all around us.  Animals curl up and sleep away the cold months, the songbirds grow quiet, all of nature hushes as the silent snow covers.  It is a reminder to grow still…to listen to silence.

cozy christmas

One of my favorite winter memories was while walking alone on a quiet, snowy night. The only sounds were the little puffs of dry snow my feet made as I walked…pouf, pouf, pouf.  Even the wind barely stirred the soft snowflakes as they landed gently on my cold cheeks.

quiet-winter-night-winter-wallpapers

I paused for a moment and looked around me.  No one else was out on that cold night.  No animal nor human stirred.  I reflected on the calm and the peace and quiet of it all.  It was beautiful and sacred. I whispered “Silent night, holy night, all is calm…” and felt the magic of the Christmas spirit wash over me.  I felt cleansed, refreshed and full of a warm and peaceful love.  I swear I could hear the hushed echoes of angel voices join me in the “well-known refrain.”

Yes, listen to the silence. For it is often in the silence when the sweetest moments of life come.  When peace pervades our being as we hear a faint song from the heavens reminding of us our real home.

Merry Christmas my dear friends!  Peace to one and all!

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men…”

YosemiteWinterNightPacholka950