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some holy days and nights

this week we went out to get our christmas tree, a wonderful annual tradition that is no longer just something that shannon and i cherish, but something the boys love, too.  we argue about finding the "perfect" tree.  we take turns with the saw.  we yell "timber!" as it falls.  we go out to lunch.  then we take it home where the real work begins!

we carefully get out all of the ornaments, which might just be my favorite part of the whole day, and organize them into groups.  then we begin to hang them, after i have hung the lights, of course, which is sometimes peppered with some colorful language, but is always worth it in the end, for that beautiful glow the tree gives, reminding us all of the light of the world which this is all about, anyway.

after a great deal of work, it is finally finished, and it looks almost magical, at least to us, what with so many of our memories hanging there, telling the story of our lives together over the years.

once all the work is done (and often before), we have some tired boys, so we put on a Christmas special and get busy watching it!  this year they all put on santa hats (without us prompting them to!), and i just had to capture that moment.

i love this season.  i love all the traditions.  i love the Spirit of the whole thing.  i love the light and the warmth in the midst of the coming coldness, and early darkness.  i love the magic and mystery of it.  and the music.  and i love how it just brings something out of people: a kindness, a generosity, a kindled hope that just might be birthed into something amazing - something humble, but glorious all the same.  it certainly brings out some great creativity in our house, as you can see from the chalkboard below which shannon designed with the words of one of my favorite Christmas songs:

we have already been having some holy days and nights here in our house.  i pray the same for you this advent.


Emoly said…
As usual, Greg you have captured exactly what I love about this season. Your words are beautiful and they have lifted my spirits once again.

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