...please to put a penny in an old man's hat! I love that old song - and so many other Christmas songs. And it is one that you don't hear "new" artists remaking - at least I haven't so far - thank God. I can count on one hand the number of Christmas albums recorded in the last 10 years that were "decent" - most should never have been recorded. I guess I'm just too traditional when it comes to my Christmas music - and I like it that way.
I love this time of year - but for some reason this year is just different. Don't get me wrong, I am LOVING seeing this holiday through Gordon's eyes. It is just that - the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is just too short this year, I'm too tired - I struggle to stay awake getting my work done, and my parents and sister won't be here this year for Christmas. It was a year ago since Oscar died - it just doesn't seem like it could be a year already. Once you get older you get such a mixed feeling of joy from Christmas (if you love it like I do) and bittersweetness - nostalgia from the happy childhood memories, but knowing you can never go back to such innocence - and add in the heart ache of good byes you experience in life - and you can see why some people get the blues this time of year. I wouldn't say I have the blues - I'd say I just am more reserved and contemplative this year than ever before. I didn't put out a lot of my decorations, oh most people who walked in our house would say it was completely decorated - but compared to past years - even last year - it is much more sparse - and simple. And I kind of like it that way. It fits for this year - maybe next year I'll go all out again and put garland in the bathroom and use ALL the lights.
The best aspect of having a more simple relaxed holiday this year is that I find myself more mentally focused on things that really make my heart soft. God. It starts there - I find myself thinking about Him a lot, with all the driving I do for my work, I have a lot of time to think. He is the constant, and I find my faith and surety in Him to be the focus of a lot of my thoughts lately.
I met a person the other day, one of my audit appointments - just another insured I was sent to audit, a chance meeting of someone that I feel was one of those meetings that has a bigger than expected affect on your life. I walked into the home of this man, his wife and two teenage daughters were there too. They are Mennonite, immediately apparent from their traditional dress. The audit maybe took about 10 minutes, but we talked for at least an hour, long enough that I had to call my next appointment and bump it back an hour. It was wonderful talking with him, and seeing just a glimpse of their family life, and their faith and how they live it in every aspect. I left wanting to simplify my life even more down to the basics, and feeling refreshed - maybe a strange sounding word for a simple conversation which touched on everything from his business (barn construction) to his children, politics, and faith - but in all my physical tiredness, it is the best word to describe how the visit left me feeling - refreshed, reassured, happy. I don't normally discuss politics or faith with clients - but since he brought it up, I did, and I'm glad he did. In my job I meet such a great variety of people, it is one of the things I love about it. I want people that I meet to leave feeling the way I felt, I know it isn't possible to do that all the time - or even most of the time, but every once in a while, I hope I have a positive affect on the people with whom I cross paths while I'm doing my work or shopping or pumping gas.