Flying home to Boston last night, I looked out the window of our tiny little plane and saw the lights of the city twinkling below. That wasn’t unusual. But as we got closer to the ground, I could also see red and green lights, and more white light outlining rooftops. Christmas lights are up in full force in all their glory and it was great. I drove myself home from the airport, marveling at the smoothly flowing traffic (a happy thing for Boston) and happy the much anticipated snow hadn’t amounted to much.
As I got closer to home and off the highway, the Christmas decorations were everywhere: Trees twinkling from inside houses. Big inflatable snowmen and Santas on front lawns. Manger scenes and those white wire reindeer. White icicle lights dripping from eaves. Twinkling strands of white or multi-colored lights wrapped around trees and bushes. And bright star-topped street banners and stars along the street lights.
I’ve been singing carols under my breath and starting to shop for presents even though I’m not entirely sure who I’m buying them for. It’s been a while since I’ve actually felt like getting into the spirit of the season and not been doing a Scrooge imitation. But this year I’m just happy with the lights and sounds and busyness of it all. Even the over-the-topness isn’t annoying yet, although after another few weeks of the commercials I may feel differently.
I spent last weekend at a meeting in a fabulous place in North Carolina. It was decorated for Christmas, with poinsettias, trees and wreaths everywhere, and maybe that’s part of what got me in the mood. That and singing carols in the car with my friend. Even the hokey things are making me happy this year.
I’m not going to worry over why. I’m just going to enjoy it. Christmas only comes once a year and lasts for such a short time before we are buried in the depths of cold and snow. Let there be light and joy and a relaxation of beating ourselves up, at least for a little while.