Every year, it seems like I have a hard time wrapping up the month of gratitude on time. December comes too fast. This year, it seemed to come faster.
This year, the beginning of Advent came with the beginning of December — Advent calendars would have you think that's how it always is, but it's only about every seven years, and seems rarer than that.
I keep feeling like I should have been better prepared for Advent this year — should have had an advent wreath together, or an advent calendar, or something.
December's also a dark month here. Last week, I finally remembered to eat lunch because it was starting to get dusky — around 3:30. Twice.
We fill the month with twinkly lights and candles — for Advent, for Hanukkah, for solstice, for Kwanzaa, for St. Lucy's Day, for Christmas. Advent is time to get ready for Christmas. Solstice brings increasingly brighter days — eventually. The first Sunday of advent, I lit candles with old friends while I shared a meal, chased with hot chocolate and laughter. Tonight, the second Sunday of Advent, I am watching the creepy Finnish Santa movie Rare Exports followed by the amazing Elf, with Chinese food and peanut butter cookies, with people who I care about and who respect these gatherings as ritual.
But it is dark, dark, dark up here, sometimes in more ways than one, and it's really important to make a point of finding that light where we can, and sharing it whenever possible, I think.
A belated day 30 of our month of gratitude: I am thankful for literal and metaphoric light in the darkness, and for the people that shine both with me.