My Christmas preparations began early this year. We had the decorations and tree up before Thanksgiving, which was a first for us. I spent Black Friday peaceful and content, shopping online by the light of my Christmas tree. This is how it shall be henceforth.

I added new decorations to my collection this year – several Hallmark ornaments commemorating milestones and anniversaries as well as two carved Christmas gourds. One is a delightful Santa and one is bedecked with a gorgeous red cardinal.

I’ve wanted a German nutcracker and pyramid for years and happened upon a German shop in Old Town Spring that sells both. I brought home the beginnings of my collection: A Santa nutcracker and a tiny nativity pyramid. Their presence is a balm to my soul; the sight of them a delight.

I also ordered a paper advent calendar on Etsy from Germany and an exquisite quilted one from the United Kingdom. I’ve also ordered Christmas crackers. As a “Doctor Who” devotee, I cannot believe I’ve never thought to procure them before.

I began my Christmas shopping the week before Black Friday. I was simply ready and my inbox was full of emails from merchants who were too. 

I have acquired several lovely amethyst heather-hued Cuddl Duds tops and two Vera Bradley purses. 

I discovered items I needed but did not realize existed on Amazon’s lightning deals and some I already wanted.

Did I mention I bought books? Six tomes, awaiting to be read: “The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives” by Leonard Mlodinow, “Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness” by Gretchen Rubin, “Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: A Book” by Jomny Sun, “Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know” by Malcolm Gladwell, “How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems” by Randall Munroe and “The Body: A Guide for Occupants” by Bill Bryson.

I don’t know where to start!

Perhaps I shall read while wearing my new L.L. Bean Wicked Good slippers, which make me feel as if I am walking on clouds. Or I could simply wear my Bombas “Sesame Street” Fuzzy Bert socks, whose sunny yellow color brightens my day.

I’ve been watching the “Doctor Who” Christmas specials and look forward to watching my all-time favorite Christmas movie, “Home Alone 2.” It’s just as funny today as it was the first time I saw it, and I have wonderful memories of the hilarity that ensued upon viewing it with my cousin in particular. Our laughter feeds upon that of the other and it was fortunate we were the only ones watching, for any other family member would not have been able to hear the dialog over our mirth.

Indeed, this time is one of celebration and joy. It is found in the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the smell of a noble fir Christmas tree, the glow of myriad lights. It is found in fellowship and nutcrackers, Advent and cuddly clothes.

Joy to the world. Christmas has come.


Stacy Parent is a lifelong resident of Baytown.

















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