Happy New Year!!
While 2013 still doesn't sound quite right, and I know I'm going to write the wrong year on checks for the next month or so, I'm so grateful for its arrival.
I'm officially in the process of de-Christmasing our house, save for our adorable tree that I'm just not ready to part with yet. Mind you, if it stayed healthy, I could sooo see us keeping it until Easter. But since I'm guessing it's a great big fire hazard to do so, I'm thinking we'll part ways later this week.
I don't know about you, but Christmas was definitely bittersweet this year. In the midst of the carols, the gingerbread lattes and all the usual merriment, I couldn't stop thinking about those families in Connecticut (and Colorado earlier this year) who lost their loved ones in such an unimaginable, violent way.
Perhaps more than any other Christmas in recent memory, I simply wasn't in the mood to write about it. I'd planned all sorts of blog posts for December and promptly deleted them.
It's been 22 years now since my dad passed away on Christmas Eve, and yet the hurt always feels so fresh when that day rolls around. So I couldn't even begin to imagine how those parents were coping only a couple weeks after their lives changed forever.
As I thought of those sweet kids who wouldn't be running down the stairs in anticipation of what Santa brought on Christmas morning, I couldn't help but tear up. I thought about presents that had probably already been purchased and were removed from under the tree. I pictured how awful it would've been to be the sibling(s) left behind, and it broke my heart. Yes, I was basically a blubbering mess—good thing I work at home, right?
Really, the only thing that helped me through was my incredible family and friends. Your calls, your cards, your thoughts from near and far helped make this gray-ish season bright. Well, that, and the timeless words of one of my favorite Christmas carols, "O Holy Night."
Although I never sing along because it's written in an otherworldly key that my voice isn't capable of reaching, the words below never fail to encourage me. And after a year with so much unimaginable tragedy, I've probably never been more grateful for "the thrill of hope."