Today was fun.  I slept in after a razzle dazzle night with new friends (sorry to the poor waitress who had to deal with us for three hours.  But don’t think we didn’t see your stink eye in our direction all night) and trudged over to the Volunteer House with a few left over decorations around one o’clock to start our scheduled, self-proclaimed Christmas Extravaganza.  It took Spencer and I a while to get started, but we were determined, I think, to have our house filled with holiday spirit.  I baked cookies for our Open House next weekend, strung up some lazy, tinsel-y garland over the door frames (very tacky but very appropriate) and set up our precious, Charlie Brown tree in front of the window.  Spencer put on some tunes and lit the candles on our Advent wreath.  All the while it was lightly snowing outside.  Check out my new Flickr photos in the sidebar!

It’s hard to get into the holiday spirit this season.  It comes and goes.  There are glimmers during especially Christmas-y days like today that I am particularly sentimental or nostalgic or have “happy feelings nothing in the world can buy”.  While I surveyed the end result of our work today I felt those priceless tingles in my belly.  But just for a moment.  Maybe I’m so lacking in spirit because I’m so far from my folks?  My family is more than a thousand miles away.  The decorations, though heartfelt, aren’t the same.  The cookies and peanut brittle I made today were more tedious a task than fun because I made them on my own.  Decorating today helped me realize that Christmas is not a time to enjoy without friends and family.  Even with all the Bing Crosby blaring, the cookie baking, and the tree donning, I felt lonely and not particularly Christmas-y.

All the ingredients for a lovely holiday were there, but I didn’t have much of a spirit.  It all makes me miss my family and I can’t wait to go home and be in a familiar place and see decorations that I recognize.  There’s a solidarity and familiarity I’m longing for.  When Sister Cordy notices I’m down in the dumps she’ll remind me that I get to fly home soon.  In just two more weeks I’ll be on a plane, homebound for Lusby-tuck!  Apart from my family, I’m excited about the balmy weather that awaits me (I hear it’s a sweaty 40 degrees over there) and a few childhood friends.  I can’t wait for a mug of my mom’s spiced tea, a bone-crushing hug from my little sister and a week or two of moving around the ornaments on our Christmas tree.  Familiarity.  What are you missing this Christmas season?