In the words of President Uchdorf during the latest Christmas devotional, "Christmas is that rarest of seasons when we see others with new eyes,  when we open our hearts a little more to the beauty around us, and reach out to others with a little more kindness and compassion. The thought that someone is doing something special for us and our excitement that we are planning to do something for them warms our hearts and fills us with love and anticipation. Add to this the glimmering lights, the delightful decorations, the sublime scenes of Christ and it's no wonder Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year." I could not have put it more perfectly- that is exactly how the holiday season feels. Everything about life is sugar coated when you have traditions and plans so wonderful to look forward to. Something about this particular Christmas time sets it apart from others for me. Perhaps it is because I have earned my own money and have my own car so I can properly purchase and surprise my loved ones with gifts. Or maybe it's because this is my last Christmas before everything changes. It's my last in high school with the friends I cherish so dearly, my last going ice skating and out for hot chocolate dates with Jacob before he leaves on his mission, my last getting to spend the week before winter break dressed up in pajamas and ridiculous ugly sweaters for spirit week, and my last before I have to come home to see my family and celebrate it. All of these factors combine to tug so hard on the sentimental part of me. The other day I had my last musical seminary morning side and it made me so sad to think I won't get to hear my classmate's talented voices sing beautiful Christmas hymns at 6:30 am ever again (that sounds so pathetic in words but its true). I'm going to miss it. At the same time, this season of my life is so exciting. All of my friends and I are anxiously awaiting our college acceptance letters and enjoying the last Christmas together all with the hustle and bustle of winter spirit week and shopping for gifts and going on dates around us. I think a lot of holiday seasons that are yet to come will go down in the books- my first Christmas being married and my first Christmas being a mother (in the very distant future hah!) but I honestly have a feeling that this Christmas will be up high on the list along with those. I'm trying my absolute hardest to soak it all in and cherish it while it's here.
This year rather than individually buying gifts for everyone, my little friend group decided to have a gift swap where we could focus all our gift giving energy (and funds) on one grand gesture. It was so much fun to get together and have a little pajama girls night, something that hasn't happened in a long time, to exchange all of our presents. I love my girls and am seriously so blessed to have them. 
 Even though this year my little circle of friends decided to do a gift swap I still wanted to write a little note to all of them on the Kate Spade stationary which was a splurge but worth is because this is our last Christmas together. 

No comments: