My office door is wrapped in the most cheerful wrapping paper I've seen. It's tied with a big fat red velvet ribbon & bow. My 3 office windows are festooned with beautiful silver glass ornaments hung from more red velvet ribbon. At home evergreen swags drape my living room window, buffet and piano, all of them swathed in more red velvet ribbon. Why so much red velvet ribbon? Because it's traditional, and timeless and deeply deeply cheerful.
When I think of joy and Christmas, I don't think of the 30 or so relatives piled knees deep in my grandparent's living room, all yelling and laughing on top of each other. For me, Christmas joy is quieter.
I think of a little blonde girl in a white cotton dress tied with a red velvet ribbon and singing from the depths of her heart 'This Little Light of Mine' at her Sunday School Christmas concert. I think of secretly sewing Christmas stockings for my sisters one of the last years we all lived at home - and the first time we didn't use Dad's wool socks with the red stripe for our stockings. I think of one of my favourite traditions - turning all the lights off except those on the tree after everyone has gone to bed on Christmas Eve and sitting up watching the lights, saying a prayer for everyone for whom a gift waits under the lights.
Christmas joy is deep. It runs quietly through icing the sugar cookies and practicing for choir solos. It's in the quiet moments of connection and peace. This Christmas, I wish you joy.