It's Christmas week, and we're all busy baking, wrapping, cleaning, and putting on our best smiles. In the midst of all this, I was challenged by the lovely Tammy Theriault (writer and fellow Daydreamer) to post a selfie with my tree and something uplighting about the season. I'm glad she asked us to do this because it's given me a moment to reflect on Christmas' past and revel in this one.
A Christmas Gift
As trees shed their suit of spring,
Winter sets in and Christmas bells ring.
Holly and mistletoe adorn the halls,
Sparkling lights and wreaths hang from the walls.
Snuggling together in front of the fire,
Listening to carolers and children who don't tire.
With the tree dressed in its finest décor,
And an abundance of presents sitting on the floor.
Drinking eggnog and watching it snow,
Reminds me that I am blessed more than I know.
My Favorite Memory
It was the Christmas of 2010. My husband and I had been living in a camper for two and a half years, trying to pay off debt and gain control over our financial future.
If you want to live like no one else, you've got to LIVE like no one else. - Dave Ramsey
We decided that living in a camper for a short time would be better than living paycheck to paycheck for the rest of our lives. (It's one of the best decisions we ever made!) I also had an opportunity to return to my home state of Alabama to finish my degree cost-free, so my husband and I had been living in different states for a few months. He, working in Texas. Me, studying Literature in Bama. That Christmas, I flew back to Texas to be with him. One thing that had been difficult for me the entire time we'd lived in the camper and the places we stayed before was that I'd never had room for a tree. He knew I missed decorations, lights, family, and at the very least, having a tree.
Of course we couldn't fit a tree inside our tiny, tiny camper. There was barely enough room for us and our three dogs as it were, but he did something even better. He put a live tree up right outside our door. He even added the lights (which is a big deal for my husband, who hates putting up lights). He had to strap it tight to keep the ferocious desert wind from knocking it down, but it withstood. We enjoyed sitting out there at night watching the tree's lights under the backdrop of stars.
Looking back, I can hardly believe how far we've come. From living in a hotel, to a camper, and now in our own little piece of heaven. It's been bumpy and cold and sometimes scary, but life hasn't given us anything we couldn't tackle together. I always call him my Prince Charming, and it's beyond true. His love and our relentless spirits have convinced me that fairy tales really do exist.
Right now, in this moment, I'm reminded how blessed I am to be able to take a selfie with my tree in my warm home and finally live in a place where we get to enjoy the holidays with our families. My hope for this season and every season forward is to be grateful for what was, content with what is, and excited for what will be.
Merry Christmas, friends. May yours be warm and full of joy.
Vanessa K. Eccles
Books, life, and travel.
Author of FABLED, RED RIBBONS, and OF LOVE & LEGEND // Founder of The Faithful Creative Magazine