color by numbers

mindless musings of a semi-creative guy

I love it.

tree

Here it is, our little Charlie Brown tree, inherited from my older brother, in all of its beautiful glory.

Have you put up your tree up yet?

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November 25, 2008 Posted by | Personal | , , | Leave a comment

right here

window

It is my last chance to decorate… I mean, really decorate for Christmas.

Why?

We’ll be moving to Thailand within the next year, where decorating with pine trees, sparkly ice-reminiscent ornaments, snowmen, and the like will not seem to fit into their tropical sun-filled surroundings. Will it even really seem like Christmas, as I’ve always known it, at all? I’m not sure, and I can say now that I’m okay with the fact that I will soon find out…

Our first family-type holiday overseas was in Thailand a few years ago. We were there as part of our internship/ field work for Huntington University in 2005. Our journey lasted from the very beginning of June, through the week before Christmas, and boy was it a ride. We each had our birthdays there, apart from our families and other friends. We celebrated our nation’s independence day with some fellow Americans (yes, a BBQ was in order). We experienced the back-to-school rush via our friends back in the States (boy was that strange…). We had Thanksgiving under palm trees (story for another day), and came back to the middle of the holiday rush… from which we felt completely disconnected.

But, that disconnect wasn’t necessarily a bad thing after all. Residing in a nation that is primarily Buddhist, only recognizing Christmas as a catering to Westerners in cities, we weren’t constantly bombarded with shopping ads, crazy sales, Santa Claus, and the like. Where we were, preparations were being made for the celebration of Christ’s birth, celebration of family, and the love that was present. The believers around us, both Western and Thai, were the only ones into the “season” that we seem to stress so much here in the States…

Now, I’m not saying we didn’t decorate at all, or that the missionaries’ families did nothing to celebrate traditions from home… but, it was just different.

I LOVE this part of the year. I itch to put lights up at the first cold snap. As soon as mid-November comes around, I swear I hear that dang tree calling from the attic to be put in place with its lights and sparkling globes. I love fall, and its transition to winter… the smells, the sounds, the crisp air, and the joy that comes in decorating my home. That is something I will miss… but, it’s okay.

Having grown up in south Chicagoland, I don’t remember having many snowdays. Come on, everything was plowed and salted by 5:00 in the morning, because it had to be. I don’t think I experienced my first “real” snow until marrying my country boy and settling down in rural northern Indiana…

… where the snow in the road is level with the snow in my yard 4 feet up the hill.
… where the drifts are both wide and deep enough to dig entire forts into.
… where I actually cannot leave my home because the door is snowed shut.
… where you can’t see our garage door because it’s that deep in snow.
… where all you can do is stay at home, play in the white fluffy goodness, and wait for the big ol’ John Deere to come dig you out.

In Thailand, it get’s down to the mid 80’s during winter.  Huh.

Thus, this year, I am wishing for lots of snow, big fat drifts, and enough time to soak it all up in preparation for my coming 10 year fast from it.

Wanna wish with me?

November 24, 2008 Posted by | Personal | , , | Leave a comment