Christmas in Houston is always...pretty much what you expect it to be. It could be anything between 25 and 75F, the traffic in front of the Galleria and Baybrook Mall will look worse than you've ever seen it, people drive even more rudely than normal (probably because, in my estimation, they leave their brains at home for the entire of December), and you will not get done everything you meant to, though you have given it the old college try. Frustration in the city - like any city, anywhere - is par for the course.
I'm not an organized person, either, so the holidays will usually not go as smoothly for me as I ever hope. Nevertheless, I do still have a few Favorite Things.
I love driving down Post Oak and seeing the rows of white-lighted trees.
I love walking in a store and smelling cinnamon.
I love turning out baked goods that make people gush.
I love that my husband, as much as he misses sometimes, always gets me Just The Right Things for Christmas. (To wit: an iPod dock with speakers and a box set of Good Eats DVDs.)
I love that people put Santa hats on their dogs.
I love seeing little girls in pretty red dresses, and little boys in dress-up shirts and pants.
And no matter what we've been through, or how often they drive me crazy, or how much trouble it took me to figure out what to get them...I love my family, and my friends, who are the "family I choose."
There have been times this year when it's been hard to be grateful. Times when I just wanted to hibernate, just to hole up with Bryan and the cats and knit and nosh and watch TV for days on end. Some of them have even been within the past few days.
But the thing is: I have a good life. A husband I'm crazy in love with, parents that adore us, more good friends than I ever imagined, a great job, a kitchen full of food and gadgets, and a lovely stash of yarn. It's not perfect, but it's really, really good. It is, in the end, the Best Christmas Gift of All.
Thanks to all of you for reading, to the commenters, to the knitters I see regularly and the bloggers that I don't - for the inspiration and the cookies and the yarn and the friendship. I wish an abundance of blessings on all of you...
...and that every day is full of things you love.