(here’s the story: i wrote this early morning on October 29th. it was a holiday symphony that wouldn’t leave my brain. i hit publish, i closed the app before it *actually* uploaded, and it disappeared into the internet void like that video of the poor raccoon that can’t find his cotton candy in a water puddle. i couldn’t find it anywhere, and i, too, became a puddle of sugar water and rabid raccoon.
but! somehow! just now! here it is. so, please read the backdated words about why i believe this holiday season is the most important wonderful time in the longest year in history. big love from a little raccoon with an even bigger piece of cotton candy this go around.)
i cannot read that caption without my face crumpling and that all too familiar (but still so sweet) lumpy throat hitting me. i think i listened to it that song 10 times today. (The Thanksgiving Song by Ben Rector. you need it, too.)
i’ll start by saying that i love a holiday more than almost anything. gimme something to decorate and celebrate and play specific music, and i’m a content lady. fast forward to these days of living life with my Kind-Hearted Slytherin, and spooky season means a lot to us. a lot a lot. i have 100 hand-cut paper bats flying out of my chimney to prove it. we have coffee mugs featuring our favorite Disney villains and (as of this year) a full corner dedicated to our most beloved family member, The Headmuss Hurseman. i am fluent in Hocus Pocus and will fight annoyance that it’s a mainstream love now when i took the time to memorize the movie as i watched it on VHS every day of 3rd grade. it’s fine and i’m fine and it’s all just one big glooooorious morning that makes me sick.
last year we decorated on September 1st and turned everything around for Christmas by October 23. and you know what? i genuinely regretted it. i didn’t know i would. i missed those last bits of spooky fall excitement before the entire world turns red and gold and full of hope disguised as stress and stress disguised as hope. i vowed that i would not make that mistake again. i would not try to bend a calendar to fit my need for comfort and joy and control.
we added 100 spiders to our repertoire this year, and they’re exactly as wonderful and awful as you would think. we made our 2nd annual spider web, and nameless friend (COUGH KENZIE COUGH) told me in a FaceTime that i wouldn’t have them still up by Halloween.
y’all, i don’t know what kind of sorcery she put on my stubbornness, but those spiders are still up with a web that is hanging on by a literal thread. and even though that was the plan all along, i have somehow turned it into something that is entirely Kenzie’s fault. i haven’t taken one Halloween decoration down. out of sheer stubbornness, i have refused and my heart wants to so, so bad. you know why?
because of a Thrill of hope and a weary, rejoicing world and O Come O Come Emmanuel and free Your Captive Israel and ‘Tis the Season when the Saints can employ us to spread the news about Peace and to keep Love alive and Feed the World and let them know it’s Christmastime again and Linus telling us all about that blessed Angel of the Lord bringing tidings of great joy and His Law is Love and His Gospel is Peace and thank you very, very, very much and Enjoy the beauty of the joy and beauty that a Merry Christmas can bring you and welcome to our world and Merry Christmas you wonderful old savings and loan.
did your heart light up with any of that? i can feel it in my bones. under the weight of all of our massive dread and fear and depression and anxiety and stress and unease and tumult and unknown, there’s a tiny, tiny, tiny thimble thrill of hope waiting to be born. a Gift that has nothing to do with us and what we’ve done and everything to do with a Savior that dearly loves all of His children.
i love the bats, and you KNOW i love the candy. but i’m ready for a month full of gratitude and dog shows and butter and shortening. and then, so, so much more than that, i’m ready for the perspective and reset that comes with each Advent season. i’m ready for the tidings of great joy. i’m ready to comfortably miss my Grammy. and i’m ready for all of us to remember His hope again.
i am so very grateful to have waited this year. i’m thankful that all of our fun and silly Halloween traditions were readily available. (albeit tweaked bc 2020) it’s felt truly good to let my kid be a kid after such an exhausting year to be a kid. i’m thankful to make new memories in the coming weeks. and i can almost stretch my mind to make Kenz’s challenge into a deeply good thing for this season. almost.
God bless us everyone. and God bless the friends that see you fully and challenge you to wait past your comfort zone. but don’t tell her i said that. and don’t judge me when it’s 12:01am on November 1st, and i’m on my roof with Christmas lights. catch you on the flippity flip, Sanderson sisters. and haul. out. the. holly.
flashback to the time we brainstormed Halloween costumes and i almost had to sue my sisray for willful ignorance.