Stop right now. Write down one thing that brings you joy about the holidays.
As the days keep getting shorter, light brings me joy.
Tonight, we light candles instead of turning on the lights. I sit by the Christmas tree lights and look around at the life we have created. Earlier today, I watched my family gather around a table and share stories and laugh and offer support for each other. There was a moment when I remembered a Christmas that I spent alone. I remembered the loneliness, the despair, and the sadness. I remembered wondering if I would ever find joy during the Christmas season again.
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
I have learned how to light one candle at a time in the darkness.
By the flickering light, I see my husband hold my children. I feel my child rest on my lap. My eyes outline the Christmas decorations we have collected and made over the years – each ornament bought with intention and each stocking sewn. My heart swells as the kids talk about what they are grateful for this weekend as we say goodnight. I sit and wait for my eldest to come home, marvelling once again at how fast the time flown by, wondering how I got here – how I arrived at joy without realizing it.
(I also played this song for the kids…and the beginning Lauryn Hill solo still gives me chills…)