In Celebration of Joyful Things

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I’m not going to lie, Christmas is especially sweet for me this year because it follows a rather rough fall. I was adjusting to being a full-time student, working during the day and studying and writing papers when not working; having to cut back on time spent with friends and family, getting used to a tighter budget, not being able to read for pleasure, and not getting to travel as much as I am used to. I know that list sounds petty – these are all first world problems, ones that the majority of the world long to have. And I tried to remind myself often during the semester how very blessed I was to be able to go to school and earn money at the same time. But it didn’t make the stress any less potent, and I really, truly, could not wait for Christmas, if only because it meant the end of the semester and a time of rest.

So here I am, reveling in Christmas and all that it represents: light, joy, peace, and rest.

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I’ve baked cookies, read books, attended the Nutcracker, basked in Christmas concerts (one of my favorites was Christopher Parkening and Jubilant Sykes’ concert), listened to carols, sipped peppermint lattes, and happily shopped for all the people who have played such a supportive and encouraging role in my life this season.

More to come later, but for now, I want to conclude with some links that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did.

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First, this book by one of my favorite modern poets, Dylan Thomas. Listening to him read it is magical. You can find a recording here and here.

“One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.” 

Two very different recordings of one of my favorite Christmas carols: Sarah McLachlan’s version and The Gloucester Cathedral Choir’s. (I do always find it interesting that Christina Rosetti assumed it was snowing when Christ was born. In Bethlehem. But I guess you never know? It’s still a beautiful thought, so it remains a favorite song of mine).

And a recipe, because of course baking + Christmas = pure joy! My sister has a recipe for the most enchanting peppermint brownies you’ll ever eat on her blog.

Merry Christmas Eve, friends!

Until Next Time,

Shelbi

 

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