Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

(So, today, pretend to sit down with me, and pick your choice: hot chocolate or peppermint mocha, and I will subject you to the wanderings of my mind...)

I am strange. I tried to deny it, but I really have learned it is better to just own it. I love this time of the year. And I am not talking about Christmas. I do love Christmas, but I really get in my groove the day after. It is not just the clearance shopping, either.

I am ready to be refreshed. I spent a whole year working, scheduling, making, breaking and generally just trying to get everything done. I need a new start, a clean slate. I am not much one for making New Year's resolutions-mostly because it is more likely that I *won't* do what I resolve to do, than actually accomplish it!

However, I do really feel like I am getting a wonderful, unblemished gift. If, as Anne of Green Gables would say, "Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.", then surely a whole year of new tomorrows is as vibrant as a vegetable growing in the garden-full of possibilities!

I know that I don't need the numbers of the year to change to make a fresh start, but there is so much putting away of the old at the change of the year. Throwing away old calendars, packing up Christmas decorations, which leads to house cleaning and a general decision making time. What will I keep and what will I give up to make room for something better? Even stores are making sweeping changes, clearancing out everything from clothes to bathroom soap.

And it just is a whole new year to envision living better and more fully than I did the year before. If this year has been good, how much better can I make the new one?

 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.”  Mark 2:20-22

I want to pour new wine into my new wineskins! I want to have new clothes, so I don't need to patch the old ones. And I love new- new jeans, new towels, new packages of candy. And that is how the new year feels to me. It is a significant point of change- all perfect and unblemished. And that makes me excited. I get to make changes and learn from the mistakes of the past year. Yes, of course, the coming year will have its share of trials and imperfections. But I get another chance.

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:19

Last year, is so, well, last year! I serve a God of not just second chances, but eternal forgiveness to those who seek it. I am overjoyed at the prospect of my 30th new year- one full of chances, choices, and completely unblemished, fresh with no mistakes in it. I am excited to see all the ways that will be made for me, all the streams that will bubble up unexpectedly. This really is, to me, the most wonderful time of the year. I love a new year!

I will leave you with my favorite "after Christmas" carol (by the way, Boxing Day is celebrated the world over on December 26th)

Boxing Day
(Relient K)

Take it all down
Christmas is over
Do not despair but rather be glad
We had a good year. Now let's have another
Remembering all the good times that we had

Oh no more lights glistening
No more carols to sing
But Christmas it makes way for spring

The hearts of men are bitter and weathered
As cold as the snow that falls from above
But just for one day we all came together
We showed the whole world that we know how to love

Oh no more lights glistening
No more carols to sing
But Christmas it makes way for spring

Oh, remember that Christmas, it makes way for spring.


  1. Clare - Great, positive thoughts. I tend to be one of the ones who longs for Christmas to last through the new year, even though I know it can't. Maybe that's why God blessed me with a January birthday, so I would have something to look forward to after the holiday was finished.

    Thanks for sharing the snowmen, the lovely conversation, and the peppermint mocha. It was all delicious!

  2. Clare, the invitation was lovely and the time together welcoming! Thank you for sharing your heart. Isaiah 43:9 is one of my favorites! 2011 was a very tough year, but God is ever so good. I look forward to joyous things in 2012.

    PS: The tray is absolutely adorable!

  3. I am with you, I actually get excited once Christmas has passed. For me the New Year is like one HUGE Monday!;) P.S. I picked Peppermint Mocha which is my new fave! And I really want to know where you got those packages, I WANT them!



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