Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Season

NOTE: Mary Dawn Carrier, you won the beautiful Holly Lane Designs pendant. I haven't been able to reach you. Please email me so I can send it to you.


Sorry to shout. I just really want Mary Dawn to get her pendant.

So, how's it going?

There's so much hustle and bustle all around, I wonder if we are even reading blogs this close to Christmas? I am. But I'm not all that hustle-y or bustle-y this year, so I may not be a good one to ask.

Right now I'm more p.j.-y and avoid-y. I don't have many presents to buy, which makes me feel down, and it's not helped by all of the frantic ads on t.v. which make me feel like I. NEED. TO. SHOP. NOW. for my full and bountiful life! I headed out to Bed, Bath, and Beyond yesterday, with no agenda but clutching my 20% off coupon in my hand. Before long, I found a bunch of stuff I wanted... for myself. Spirit of giving, I say.

I decided not to send cards this year, so that doesn't feel very festive, and I've been in a bit of a holding pattern with book revisions, which may or may not be freaking me out. So, I've spent December thus far watching a lot of tv and going to various yearly doctor's appointments. Oh, and buying new tires. I never realized I had oversized, fancy tires on my car until it was pointed out to me at three different tire establishments (ka-ching!). Please notice their radiant beauty if you see me around town.

This weekend our family will attend a play together, our fourth year doing so. I think that may get me in the mood. I haven't done anything for Advent, and I can really feel the difference in my spirit, and not in a good way. It's so easy to lose any wonder of the season and see the Christmas Story as, well, just another story.

So today I'm sharing a beautiful post written by a blogger and frequent reader of An Inch of Gray. Kelly Cone, from The Cone Zone, writes how she saw Christmas in a new way while sharing the Christmas Story with her foster children.

You will love it! Seriously, go read it! You and I can catch up more later.

I hope you are doing well, whether you are feeling overwhelmed or, like me, kind of under-whelmed this month.

19 comments:

Luv2run said...

Always reading and always thinking of your sweet family

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

loved reading her story- so sweet and a good reminder.

Victoria said...

Here you go :-) http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1414387083

sue hamblen said...

Once again, your honesty is inspiring. I look forward to your book - you are wise beyond your years.

Kara said...

Thanks for sharing that blog. I feel like I'm finally catching up on blog reading after an accidental hiatus. I have missed you. Thought about you and your family during the lighting of the first candle this month: hope. Hugs to all of you.

Alison said...

Thinking of you! xo

SouthMainMuse said...

Since we are in still living in the garage appartment out back while our remodel is winding (hopefully) down, we haven't bought a tree. I haven't put up any my decoration. We made a low maintenance Advent wreath -- which we have done most every night. Maybe because that's really all we have Christmassy that's staring at us. I really haven't bought any gifts because we are spending so much money on the remodel. I'm enjoying the lack of pressure to create a perfect holiday. I hope you find more of the Christmas spirit Anna. For me, it really doesn't hit. That lovely spiritual quiet joy. Until the very end. Thought the pj Christmas sounds very comfy.

Lisa C said...

Thank you for directing us to the Christmas Story. It was a lovely reminder of what and who is important this holiday season.

Much love, as always.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post, thank you for sharing her story. That's wonderful that the book is coming along!

I remember your writing a while ago about going to Abercrombie for Miss Margaret and noticing some things that you would have just loved to get Jack. They were special clothes that were really "him." It could have been a color, or maybe that was just his style, but there was something "Jack" about it.

I think shopping and gift-giving mean a bit more to you than other people. (I can't remember the author's name, but there's a thing about "Love Languages," our preferred ways of being shown or showing love.) Anyway, I imagine it's sometimes hard not to shop for Jack, and especially hard at this time.

Maybe shopping doesn't seem very holy or Advent-like, but a lot of love goes into it, sometimes, just carrying around that person's wishes, and looking out for anything that really seems like them.

And you're very thoughtful, you didn't indulge him, except on rare occasions, and he sometimes even waited to spend his own money, or to use his gifts. So I imagine that aside from just the fact of his being your child, it was very rewarding to shop for, anticipate the joy of giving to, and give to someone truly appreciative.

You might feel underwhelmed, but your strength and courage is amazing. Enjoy the play this weekend.

Steph said...

I so wish you had your handsome young son physically here with you during this season. Thank you for sharing your friend's touching post that reminds us to see the wonder that is the Christmas story. Wishing you much love and peace.

Heidi Cave said...

Thinking of you, dear Anna. Much, much love to you.

Suburban Correspondent said...

If you manage to get a tree up and buy some presents for Margaret, it's enough. Some Christmases just need to be quieter than others. "It's A Wonderful Life" is on the big screen in Reston for only $6 next weekend, if you want to do something low-key but special.

Nancy O said...

Anna, I lost my 18 year old son 3-4-12 and I am feeling like you about the holidays. Your blog has given me words and somewhere to point people to that are trying to understand about my "new" journey. It has been very helpful. Thank you. I have found that year 2 is harder than year 1. It seems anyone can miss one birthday, one holiday but when they miss two it seems more, well shall we say, permanent? I'm sorry that we walk this journey together and am most thankful for the faithful; mindfulness of the Savior.

Jessica Watson said...

I'm halfway in the holiday spirit this year. I think pajama-y days are okay, even if you wear them to Bed, Bath and Beyond I won't judge. Wishing you easier days Anna.

Japolina said...

I think that the Holidays, for many people, are not as happy and carefree as you would think. It is stressful and overwhelming at times. I guess if you just eat Christmas Cookies and Drink cocoa, that is enough.

xoxo

Andrea Mowery said...

The holidays are so hard for a lot of us, and I feel for you this season. Prayers for peace and a fullness of spirit for you this Christmas. xo

Salvimom said...

Bless you Anna,

You are always so inspiring and a good dose of reality. I have been sitting here down on myself due to my relationship of all things, just downright feeling sorry for myself. And then I think, here is Anna, who has something hurting her for which there is no earthly solution, and look at her STRENGTH. Look at the comfort she gives others with sharing her thoughts and emotions. And I think, F*#$ this depressive stuff, the important thing is that we are living and can bask in His glory! Thank you always for your wonderful presence, and God Bless You!

Ury

Lady Jennie said...

I'll go read it. And I just wanted to give YOU a big hug.

Bluebird49 said...

The years have passed---15 of them--15 Christmases, too--since we lost our Sherry. She was 31, and died in her sleep of an enlarged heart which caused her heart to stop. Every Christmas, we got to our son's house to celebrate the season with him and his wife and our 2 grandchildren, David, 9 and Kat, 6. It helps so much--to go there, and be away from here, where I do not decorate anymore. We are in our 60s, and I have Fibromyalgia, and it's hard to pull stuff out and put it up and take it down. Oh, being away does not make us think of Sherry less. I just wonder how she'd be now, 16 years later, would we still be on the phone, every day, 59 times a day, laughing until we had headaches and our cheeks were sore? How different would she look. Would she still worry about whether she needed to lose weight, would she still love the Y&R, would she have gone back to work, since her then 7-year-old boy is 22 now? All these things and 1,000 million more questions come to mind. I can't even tell you how many things you can think of--but you know already! For that, I am so sorry. I was able to enjoy my daughter for 31 years...we shared so much. You got to have and enjoy your Jack for 12 years, and you shared so much, and you are sharing him with us--and I'm so grateful you are doing that. I wish I could have honored our Sherry the same way you are doing with your book, but I wouldn't have known where to start. I want to say Happy New year, but it sounds so foreign to say happy--but I do hope you will have a more peaceful and joyful 2014. I hope you and Tim are close, and I hope dear Margaret is doing well and making more and more friends and you three are having fun times together! Love, Sherry's Mom