While I know some people have been decking the halls and getting into the Christmas Spirit for several weeks — for some, months — this weekend was the first time I started to feel those festive vibes.
My daughter turned 2, so my in-laws came into town for her birthday party Saturday. Since Saturday was also the first day of Judy Long's Drive-By-and-Wave-at-Santa event, we decided to make a drive to her house after the party was over.
This was the first time for my in-laws to see this winter wonderland of a home and they were in absolute awe.
Judy, being the sweet hostess she is, invited us all into her home to take a gander at her beautiful decorations.
All of the children were smiling and laughing the entire time. My mother-in-law took pictures of the decorations in every room of her house, from her large Christmas village, all three Christmas trees, to her collection of 800-plus Santa dolls and figurines. After we left, we took a drive around town to admire some more impressive homes decorated for the holidays. The residents of Greenville have really impressed me this year with some of the decorations I have been seeing. What I admire most is knowing those who decorate aren’t doing so for any personal gain. If anything, their electric bill I’m sure is increasing a bit.
Those who decorate their homes do it because they know it is fun and uplifting for those who drive by. Holiday joy and cheer is infectious and I thank everyone who takes the time and effort on their home for giving that gift to the community.
After we returned to our house, I started cooking dinner. As I was in the middle of pouring soup ingredients into my pot, we got a knock at the door.
Not expecting any other visitors, we all wondered who it could be. When we opened the door, the words of “Silent Night” started pouring into our living room. We were being greeted by Christmas carolers.
These wonderful carolers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sang three songs to us, gave us a plate of homemade goodies and went on their way to sing songs to others in the community.
Christmas caroling is something rarely seen anymore and when I do see it, it’s usually on a TV show or movie. It’s another act of service that is done purely to bring joy to others. It was a beautiful gift.
Twinkling lights and holiday music aside, the holiday season almost wouldn’t seem right without body aches accompanied by a spiking fever.
Almost every year since I was a small child, whether on Thanksgiving or Christmas, I wound up getting sick with the flu. I almost didn't mind back then because it meant I got to lay in bed all day, have food and drinks brought to me and receive countless back rubs from my mom.
The holiday tradition of getting sick still remains, but it's not so fun now because I have children to care for and a job to go to.
This week, my children got a head start on this annual tradition. My normally cheerful and active 2-year-old and 4-year-old have been exhausted and grouchy. We learned Monday morning at the Greenville Clinic they do, in fact, have the flu.
My husband is also sick and I, surprisingly, am feeling just fine. I have a little bit of a cough, but nothing serious.
The one good part about being sick is the quality time I get to spend with my kids.
They're still young, but my children are usually so busy playing they don't want much to do with me. They are perfectly content with their toys and being silly together.
But this week, we have been cuddling more than usual. We are reading a lot of books. They are taking most of their naps on my lap as I give them back and head rubs.
As much as I want them to heal up quickly and feel better so they can go back to being themselves, I can’t help but cherish these moments.
During this time of year, we are consumed with what material items we want to buy. There are advertisements everywhere we turn flashing what we should spend our money on for Christmas.
Family time cannot be purchased. It's nice to slow down and just be with our loved ones.
This Christmas, I just want more of these moments. I know my children will be excited and playing with their new toys, but I hope we can also take time to slow down, hold each other and just be in the moment.
No phones. No social media. No holiday flash sales and rush shopping. Just sitting together as we play a few board games, watch a classic holiday flick or two and eat homemade food.
I hope this can be the case for everyone this year.
Catherine Kirk is managing editor of the Delta Democrat-Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.