The last three months of the year are my favorite. October is filled with the crisp autumn air, trees in the most vivid shades of red, orange and yellow, pumpkins, and Halloween, a holiday I've adored since childhood.
Then in November, fallen leaves crunching beneath my feet, wrapping my hands around warm mugs of cider, tea, or coffee, but most of all, Thanksgiving--where loved ones gather in cozy homes to feast on the most delectable foods and desserts. Pilgrims, turkeys, pumpkin pies; but most off all the feeling of love from those around me, and at this time I am once again reminded of how much I have to be incredibly thankful for.
December--yes--Christmas! You can ask my family; I've been a Christmas fanatic all my life. In elementary school I'd plan a Christmas party each year for my immediate family--a silly little thing--but of the utmost importance to me at the time. I would begin planning for this in July. I'd allow myself to watch one Christmas movie while I started to make personal stockings for each of my family members out of construction paper stapled together. And while I began the list-making for little gifts, food, songs, and stories.
Although I don't watch Christmas movies in July anymore, I still feel like that same little girl, so excited about getting all the decorations out for Christmas. This year, all the decorations were out and the tree put up and decorated by November 30th. I'm a firm believer in not decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving, but for me, once Thanksgiving dinner is over, it's officially Christmastime! This year, I will go through my rituals of watching old Christmas movies and reading Christmas books from when I was a kid, decorating sugar cookies, drinking plenty of hot cocoa with marshmallows, and letting silence be filled with Christmas music.
I am especially relishing these things this year since next year, during these three favorite months of mine, I'll be in Israel. It seems so far away to think I'll have to wait two years to return to these warm, familiar traditions.
And looming over my shoulders is all that Matt and I must do and plan for this next year:
~where to keep our cars while we're gone (or sell one or both?)
~putting a hold on cell phone service, car insurance
~where to store all our stuff!!!
~Matt buying a laptop and me a notebook computer
~a new digital camera for me and a Flip
~where I will live for my first semester on campus at Wheaton in 2011
~FASFA, financial aid, etc.
~getting our mail forwarded
~Matt packing to be away for 14 months; me for 6 months
~packing and moving out of our apartment
~getting stuff with Annabelle (our dog) all squared away for those watching her
AND ON AND ON!
For now, I'm pushing that to the back of my mind to relax and enjoy Christmas without worry. When 2010 comes, it'll be non-stop planning!