december 1st is a fun day to me... i have to hold out through all of november on any christmas planning, decorating or carol listening. since thanksgiving, my birthday, and now my daughter's birthday are all in the month of november, i can't stand to just gloss right over them and go straight into the christmas season. so we made an unofficial rule/tradition in our family that we have to wait until december 1st to do anything christmas related whatsoever!
but, today it has finally arrived, and i am in the mood to go ALL OUT with decorations this year since the last two christmases have been so full of life changes for us (birth of our baby girl last year, and the death of my mom the year before that). putting up the decorations and decorating the tree was always a special unspoken tradition between my mom and i. we always did it together. i remember how gingerly she took each ornament out of its box and picked the perfect spot for it on the tree, keeping everything balanced and beautiful. last year in my exhaustion with a three week old newborn and continued grief over the loss of my mom, i could barely bring myself to unwrap a single ornament... matt decorated the entire tree as i sat and snuggled kenna on the couch.
but the beautiful thing about christmas is hope. it's the very definition of the holiday- that a savior was born with the absolute intent of giving the gift of salvation through his sacrificial death. through him we have hope for this life and the promise of a future in heaven. what an amazing reason to live and to celebrate the season!