I've changed the look of my blog for Christmas. If you look at my last post, I was feeling pretty down in the dumps, but a friend of mine - a blog friend - convinced me that to choose joy is a victory in the spiritual battle of the Christian life.
So tonight after work (I worked until 6:30pm, at which time it is very dark here in South Florida), I drove around and looked at Christmas light displays. Christmas music - some of my very favorite - played on the CD player in the car - and I prayed as I drove and listened. I also thanked God for my many blessings, which is always a sure way to get rid of negative thoughts. Most of all, I thanked God for Brenda of Coffee, Tea, Books and Me, who is a light in a dark place and without whose blog I would flounder indeed.
Driving around and gazing at Christmas light displays has been a seasonal habit of mine since my daughter was quite small. I would gather her up in her pajamas, wrap her in a blanket (if it was cold out) and off we'd go, Christmas music playing - at that time, in cassette form, in the car.
Well, tonight, after I drove around a bit, I went to the place where we usually buy our trees. It is a Catholic Church and they always have a refrigerated truck and the trees are each resting in buckets with water. Everywhere else, the trees are gasping for water and are kept in the hot sun. In all the years we've purchased our tree from this church, it lasts until February at least. Now I don't have it in the house after January 4th, but we put it in our back yard and put bird seed on the branches or peanut butter - and it becomes a haven for birds and squirrels. Once the needles fall off - which takes a long time - we take the branches off and use the trunk somewhere in the yard, whether as a border or another bird feeder holder - there are any number of uses for our old Christmas trees.
After I dragged the tree in tonight, I threw some lights on it quickly, which will be rearranged tomorrow in a more correct manner. I just wanted to put some lights on it to let it know it's an honored guest - and to have it in the background while I put on a Christmas movie.
I've chosen joy, thanks to Brenda, and I'm not running away from Christmas this year at all.