... and all through the neighborhood, not gift had been bought, but it was all good.

After a failed attempt at hanging a string of lights on my patio [only to find that one of the sets doesn't light up and the other isn't long enough to make any kind of festive impression], I started looking through old holiday pictures. Only, I couldn't find any. At least none from recent years. Except for this one, taken on the day of my college graduation a few years back.

I had finished all my undergraduate classes in the summertime and [reluctantly] walked the ceremony that December, even though I knew it'd be difficult for most people to plan their holiday schedule around my celebration. Still, I didn't want to regret not attending my own commencement. The temperature that day crept up to around 70 degrees, so I threw on that strapless number and tried to document the moment before rushing out the door. I was fittingly photobombed by my mother's Christmas tree, and seeing the photo made me realize I've never owned a Christmas tree in my adult life - not even a fake one. Not even a miniature 3-foot tall Christmas bush. I've got plenty of space for one, I have the time and means to decorate one, but for some reason I never do. Apparently there's a woman in Maryland who has her house decked out with 277 trees - 277 - and I can't even deck mine out with one. Families left and right are posing for holiday cards and filming over-the-top YouTube videos, and here I can't even find a more recent holiday photo.

The spirit of Christmas past has me feeling very nostalgic lately. I miss walking outside every day in December and having the Michigan snow cling to my calves as I walk down the steps of my porch. I miss countless presents under the tree. Some were fake & just for decoration, but even wrapping those with my mother while some soulful Christmas sounds played in the background was fun. I miss having family over on Christmas Eve, playing games and enjoying everyone's company. I miss going to nativity plays and holiday productions around the neighborhood. I miss the nauseating smell of eggnog in the air [how do people drink that crap?], and pretty much every scent that comes with this time of year.

I'm trying to bring some of this goodness back. I bought some "'Tis the Season" scented oils from Bath & BodyWorks to get the aromas flowing in my living space; I've watched Home Alone 1 & 2 multiple times already; I rode through Nashville's version of a "Winter Wonderland" while jammin' to a few country Christmas tunes, and I really did give those patio lights my best effort.

Can someone join with me in prayer for a few inches of snow?