I’ve been pretty much ignoring my blog for the last month, while I was caught up in the throes of NaNoWriMo. I did finish, coming in at just over 53,400 words, though there were several false starts. I learned, from the process, that my innner editor is a raging beast from hell, and it takes huge quantities of Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Suite Holiday Tea to quiet it. No, really, that’s what my drink has been lately, brewed chai-strong, splashed with milk, and enhanced by a bit of honey. It’s comforting, and smells like Christmas.
Speaking of which, even though I did take time off from NaNo to put lights on the outside of my house (just the hedges and trees, this year, as our ladder has gone missing, and Fuzzy can’t stand for long enough amounts of time to help me with the eaves) with Christmas lights, it’s only today that I finally feel that the Christmas Season has begun.
I think there’s something magical about the calendar page flipping from November to December. It means that winter is officially almost here, that the nights are still getting longer, and that the air is crisp and cold and alive with the tingle of love and joy and anticipation, and all those wonderful things that most of us find pretty sappy the other eleven months of the year.
Also, I just received an Advent calendar from my godmother, who sends one every year. This year, in an homage to our shared love of Harry Potter, she picked the calendar in question “because Santa looks like Dumbledore.”
I remember having the big advent calendars when I was a kid. They were larger than an 8.5 x 11″ piece of paper and would be tacked to the wall. I’ve never had one with candy, and wouldn’t WANT one with candy, because as far as I can tell, they only come in milk chocolate. Cheap milk chocolate. But I like the pictures, and I like the act of opening the door at the end of each day. The ritual, the crossing off of days.
Speaking of ritual, Fuzzy and I are checking out the local Episcopalian church this weekend, mostly because it’s a good way to meet other couples our age, but also because we’re in a new place, and I’m feeling a bit isolated and homesick, and want a sense of community. While I’m not terribly religious, I like the way the Church smells at Christmas, and I like the carols, and this church is sponsoring a Christmas choir, and I miss singing, so we’re going. (As I told Fuzzy, with the exceptions of Amazing Grace and most of Handel’s Messiah, Christmas Carols are the only religious songs I know, so I don’t feel so much like an alien at this time of year.)
It’s become a sort of personal tradition to do some sort of December theme in my journal each year. Last year, I participated in 12 Days of Christmas Questions, with some friends, and this year, I’m doing my own version of the Holidailies – daily posts through the month of December.