Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Start of the Season

When the Boys were young, I became (of necessity) quite frugal. With four kids and only one teacher's salary for income, Husband and I squeezed our pennies until Abraham Lincoln yelped.

I mention this because as I was looking for a suitable illustration for today's post I came across this picture.The reason I include this photo is not to embarrass the Boy shown because, woochy-woochy-woochy, isn't he the cutest thing, with his inept wearing of his birthday hat? No, I include the photo because I still have that very same hat tucked away in a corner of the kitchen cupboard, along with five more pointed cardboard chapeaux.

A couple of decades ago, with birthdays rolling around more or less constantly in the House on the Corner, I refused to spend the $2 it would have cost to buy new celebratory paraphernalia for each Boy's birthday. The wearing of gently-used hats became a tradition.

Today I'm thinking of those hats and of all our birthday traditions because today is the start of the seven-week period that begins with my birthday and ends with Ephiphany. Between those bookends are an anniversary for Husband and me, the official Best Day of the Year (Thanksgiving), Christmas, Christmas break, and New Year's.

I. Love. This. Season.

I love Husband waking me up with "Happy Birthday!" this morning and the calls from the Boys, and the cards from family and friends. I love the dozens of greetings on Facebook and being reminded how extraordinarily varied and interesting the people in my life are. I love Thanksgiving's turkey and sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce--but not nearly as much as I love the family that will gather and feed my soul by bringing me pie. I love the cold weather and hot soup and warm rice bags on my feet when I sleep. I love the two weeks of off of work that don't count against accrued vacation (wooo!). I love the music and the smell of pine trees and the clanging of the Salvation Army bell-ringers.I love that the Boys will start gathering in a few days, and (full disclosure) I will love the quiet of the house when they leave again.

It's the best season of all, and my appreciation of this time of year started back when we were frugally re-using birthday hats and I was realizing that the things I loved were rarely things. 

I knew then, as I know now, that I could not be richer.

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