Jan says at RevGals:
In a few days the Fourth Sunday of Advent will be celebrated, immediately followed by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. A lot of worship and celebrating will be packed into these few days, which for my husband and me also includes our wedding anniversary today (41 years!). So for this holiday Friday Five, let's have a free-for-all: Write 5 items about anything connected with Christmas, which of course includes Advent. Be personal, professional, spiritual or however you are feeling!
1. I attended a Blue Christmas service last night for the first time. It was lovely and very well done. I was grateful to have the time and space to sit quietly with the sorrows of this year, the things that are making it hard to feel "jolly" right about now. All the writing I have read about the Sandy Hook shootings has left me with this assurance: I don't have to feel jolly, now or ever. I have to practice joy, which is a fierce thing, rather than a light and frothy thing.
2. I have one more gift to buy (unless I am forgetting something), plus a dress to wear to a wedding next week. The latter is by far the harder thing, but I have enlisted a friend to go with me. She will make sure I do not attend the wedding in jeans.
3. Brandon and his girlfriend are coming on Christmas Night. Fun! Now that I know I can start planning a menu.
4. This campus is SILENT. Almost. Someone on a skateboard is going by under my window. But otherwise, silent. The department down the hall had a party earlier, with much loud laughing. My phone has rung once today. After 5:00 the heat will be turned off in all campus buildings and we will be in hibernation mode until after New Year's. I'm grateful to work at a university so that my holidays can be configured this way...but it is eerie here.
5. The birds and squirrels that I feed outside my south window will be fine in my absence. I will look forward to seeing them next year. They are a large part of my daily joy.