I opened Facebook this morning to find my newsfeed flooded with pictures of Christmas trees adorned with ornaments and lights and all things shiny and beautiful.
To be honest, most years I would probably roll my eyes at the number of people jumping straight from Halloween to Christmas, as if the best feasting day of the year wasn’t sandwiched somewhere in between.
But this year, it just feels right.
2020 has turned all of our lives upside down in one way or another. There has been the pandemic and all of the health, economic, and personal struggles that have come along with it. There have been deaths of monumental figures, and heartbreaking societal division. There have been so many headlines we never wanted or imagined we’d see. And beyond all of that, so many of us have faced personal struggles within the walls of our own homes.
In a lot of ways, 2020 has just been heavy.
But at midnight last night, when the calendar changed from October to November, I’m pretty sure the whole world collectively sighed in relief. Because you guys—we made it.
We are officially in the holiday season, and my weary heart is so ready for all of it.
I’m ready for cheesy Hallmark movies I can guess the entire storyline of just by reading the title.
I’m ready for cold, snowy days with a pot of soup simmering all afternoon long.
I’m ready for the laughs that come with watching Elf for the 5,000th time, and the fuzzy pajama snuggles during The Polar Express.
I’m ready to bake the day away with my kids and eat way too many cookies.
I’m ready to fill a thermos with cocoa and drive around town listening to Christmas songs and debating which house has the best twinkling lights.
I’m ready to enjoy the traditions we’ve built over the years and start new ones with the people we love the most.
Most of all, I’m ready for the heart of this season.
This is the time of year when a contagious holiday spirit takes over the world, and for a little while we remember what it means to treat our neighbors with love and kindness. We hold doors open, and leave gifts for the FedEx man, and take the time to look each other in the eyes and smile. We go out of our way for those less fortunate than us, and find extra gratitude for all we’ve been given.
The holidays are full of simple joys that remind us what really matters, and I think that’s exactly what we all need right now.
So, friends, if your Christmas tree is already up, I hope you enjoy those twinkling lights.
If I see you on the street and you wish me a Merry Christmas before we even get to Thanksgiving, I’ll smile and wish you one back.
And if you have reindeer on your pajamas, peppermint in your coffee, and Hallmark movies on the TV, know that I’m over here doing the same.
There’s nothing quite like the holidays, and this year more than ever we deserve to soak up every last bit of the magic.