A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of going to Joann: Experience The Creativity! with Alice. Notice that this is different from a regular Joann Fabrics. It’s more of a crafty superstore, and you can run around telling shoppers to “Experience the creativity!” Because it’s funny.
Now, if Alice ever asks you go to Joann with her, don’t respond. Don’t try to come up with a polite excuse. Just run. Run for your life. Even if she tells you she has a bunch of coupons. Because if you go to Joann: Experience The Creativity! with Alice, you will spend several hours and lots of money. However … you will also have a damned good time.
We bought fabric and wreaths and holiday garland and frames and paper and all sorts of things to help us Experience The Creativity! While Alice was getting fabric cut, I meandered through the Christmas ornaments. It was that time a few weeks before Thanksgiving when all the Christmas decorations are 40% off, and you think that if you really had your act together, you would grab a few to use on packages or as Secret Santa gifts. But you don’t, and then you wish you had later.
Except that I did buy an ornament. Not for a package or a gift, but for me.
It’s a silver star on a red ribbon. It’s plain, but engraved in the middle is the word “Faith.”
I’ve had it hanging in my office. And tomorrow, I’ll put up my Christmas tree and faith will have a starring role.
I’m putting up my tree because it’s Christmas, dammit. And I’m going to be happy. I’m going to watch “Love Actually” and open a bottle of wine and decorate my tree with all of the ornaments that make me happy. I have many favorites – the Sesame Street ornaments that Santa brought me when I was in first grade, or the ornament my parents got for my first Christmas. But the ones that get me the most are little felt and yarn ornaments of snowmen, ice skates and stocking caps that were made for the annual bazaar at my grandma’s church.
I had my tonsils out in third grade, the Friday before Thanksgiving. And my grandma gave me a series of brown paper lunch bags, one to be opened every day while I was recuperating. These ornaments were inside.
I looked forward to opening each day’s bag. And I felt so loved and so special – I couldn’t imagine the planning that such a multi-day gift entailed!
I love Christmas, and I love these precious reminders of good people and good times. So I’m going to put up my tree, and I’m going to have faith. It takes a lot of faith to look at a baby in a freezing cold barn and believe that he’s going to bring you salvation. So I can probably manage to believe that things are going to look up here, too.