Christmas has arrived and my heart is full of sparkle and Christmas spice. There is so much to celebrate, so much to be thankful for, such an exciting and magical 12 months to reflect upon this Christmas. I thought I'd be impatient to dance it away with a good few toasts to the year behind us, but actually it has come as a welcome pause for stillness, and a chance to catch my breath before 2013 takes hold.
Setting up Christmas in our first home has been an absolute delight. When I saw the lights on our tree twinkling for the first time I felt really, truly at home with myself and in the world. Every moment has been cherished, not so much in photos or blog posts (not at all) or anything concrete, but I have taken the time to stop and smell the cinnamon every step of the way, and that in itself has been a real Christmas treat. Over the last few weekends I've baked stollen and mince pies from scratch, stayed up late to put together our own Christmas cards, and knitted gifts for hampers of Christmas love and thanks for my family-to-be. Every part of it counts this year more than most; this is our first Christmas as us, here where we have planted our roots, and I want to grasp every fleeting joy that dances over my chest. The past few months have been busier and more exciting than I could have imagined, and now is the time to bring it all home with a bang.
Now I'm back at my parents house, and it is Christmas as I have always known it. Daniel is here to spend this extra-special Christmas with my family, and I can't wait to drink champagne with him on Tuesday and toast to the journey we've been on since this time last year. For now I'm taking time out; long blustering walks in the muddy country around here, afternoon naps in front of the fire, and plenty of sitting and reflecting. I'm hoping to take some time over the next week to put down in writing some of the massive things that are charging through me at the moment: mainly a sense of awesome gratitude and an ever-growing awareness of the fragile here-and-now. Whereas last year my mind was raging with the things I wanted to do and the goals I had for myself, this year I'll mainly be spending Christmas in the present moment, holding onto it as tightly as I'm able before the year ahead takes hold. Things couldn't be more different, and I couldn't be more in the mood for a few days of rest, food, laughter, and celebration.