I’ve been feeling quite down in the dumps these past few weeks. Not feeling “Christmassy” at all.

People have attributed it to the fact that there’s no snow and it looks like being a green Christmas. But that’s not it – in fact I am liking the weather a lot, because it has not yet been too cold to ride (I’m not entirely sure my horse agrees with me there…).

What it is, is that this is going to be the first year since I left my parents’ home, more than 4 decades ago, that I have not had the house decorated for the holiday.

christmasDecorations2Now, I usually get the outside lights done in time to light them on December 1st, and then I start on the inside. Wreaths, garlands, red bows, lots of glass decorations, and of course mistletoe… I have several large plastic bins full of these things stored in the basement. Once the house is decorated and the tree is up and has the lights on it, I have the annual “tree decorating party”. Over the years I have inherited so many tree decorations that it’s nice to have help to put them all on the tree. I invite all my friends, and it’s the only real entertaining I do anymore.

But this year there is no tree, no wreaths, no garlands, not mistletoe, no party. All the decorations are there, in the basement, but due to some recent shifting around of furniture being stored in the basement, I can’t get at them! So, I was feeling very un-Christmassy.

horseWreathSquareBut earlier today I went to the annual Christmas potluck party at the stables of some friends, where I was privileged to help with the performance of The Mane Event’s musical ride. After the performance and the judging of the decorated horse stalls, after the food and the conversation, when things were winding down, one of the riders approached me and on behalf of the rest of the team, gave me a gorgeous wreath she had made, in the shape of a horse’s head. I was so touched, I got all teary and I think maybe alarmed her a bit. I’m not sure they realized just how wonderful a gift it is – it means I do have Christmas decorations this year!

I know that Christmas is about more than decorations and gifts; it’s a feeling, a frame of mind, a time for generosity and peace and love. For me the decorations have always been a tradition, a link to the people who handed them down to me, and a reminder of all the love I have been lucky enough to have had in my life, and that, for me, is a big part of what Christmas is about. And this lovely gift, this beautiful Christmas wreath, given in friendship, will now become a part of my tradition, and as I bring it out each year I will be reminded of the friendship and joy that it represents.

Merry Christmas to all.