Prepare My Home. Preparing My Heart.

I don't remember much about Christmas last year.  It had been a difficult fall semester for me, a season marked by some personal hardships, stress, and tiredness.  When Christmas followed close on the heels of the semester's close, I barely had prepared for its approach.  Sure, the tree was decorated and presents were wrapped, but my heart wasn't invested.

I've vowed not to miss Christmas this year.

At one point last week my five-year-old melted down because there were still over twenty days until Christmas -- a figure which seemed cruelly insurmountable in light of her eagerness, like I had been mistakenly counting in dog years.  A day is like a week to a kid who's waiting for Christmas, after all.

To aid the countdown and ease her emotional duress, I hung a simple paper chain in our kitchen.

Each day we ceremoniously tear off a link. 

Little did I know that this simple ritual would be as rewarding for me as it is for the girls.  Another fall semester draws to a close, and once again, work flurries about me.  There are final speeches to observe, final projects to evaluate, and final grades to upload, yet I each day I pause and regard that simple paper chain.

We're making time each day to sit together on the couch -- all five of us -- and read Christmas books or watch a Christmas video.  It's become my favorite spot in the house, a cozy space where I can enjoy the view of snow-covered hills behind our home, a space where I can steal a moment with my favorite people.

This year, I've not only prepared my home, but also my heart.

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  1. I love the preparing of my heart at Christmas. This year I am doing a Christmas Bible study. It has made me more reflective, appreciative, and eager to embrace the joy of this season.

    I love your paper chain and your tree. The warmth of your blog has me coming back and marveling at how fortunate I am to have found you on the big world-wide web.

    Wishing you a peaceful day my friend.

  2. Jennifer, the sentiment is entirely reciprocal! Thank you so much!


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