An Improperly Constructed Damsel

I don’t believe I’ll ever be convinced that winter isn’t the most wonderful time of the year. It’s cozy, white, and bright; it’s a time for rest and play; it’s merry and cheery and speckled with celebration. Renewal and refreshment are tangible. Winter is a season of hot cocoa, sleigh rides, and crackling fires – a season for us to relearn the value of “bright copper kettles, warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings” . . . a whole host of our favorite things!

At twenty-four years old, I still squeak with joy when I wake up to see the year’s first covering of snow on the ground. And in addition to my general excitement about wintertime, Christmas is my favorite holiday. Sparkly, glittery, lit-up decor; the scents of woodsmoke, peppermint, and evergreen mingling; and yes, Christmas music!! This year . . . after five Christmases of telling myself I’d buy a tree but never getting around to it . . . I finally took the plunge. My flocked, pre-lit, 7 foot tree is scheduled to arrive on Tuesday. I can’t wait to deck it with gold and silver ornaments and fill the space beneath it with gifts for friends and family.

Really, my holly jolly musings don’t seem very connected to the title of my post – though there are those who hate winter and would conclude that my positivity toward it make me improperly constructed, indeed. The conflict – the question of my proper or improper inner workings – lies in the underlying sorrow I experience because I don’t have a family of my own to be excited with. I don’t have a husband to cuddle or a baby to bundle. If I vent too much, I may appear ungrateful . . . my long-suffering friends may see a need to admonish me into a position of apparent gratitude. If I don’t acknowledge how I feel to the people I’m closest to, then the quality of relationships disintegrate. I feel hypersensitive and frustrated by my hypersensitivity. These conflicts are sandwiched between layers of fatigue that serve to dramatize my emotions and disintegrate my mental filter. Further strain results from the idea that gratitude for God’s gifts should just turn my frown upside down and counter the consequences of sleep deprivation.

But I want to end this on the positive note that I started on – because it’s good to be positive, because life is beautiful – and, to my delight as a writer, because the structure of this post will then reflect how I feel. So here goes:

Christmas is coming. Christmas and winter and snow. I have gifts – the perfect ones, I think – picked out for my roommate and my boss. I have other gifts in mind for several friends. (My mother’s gift arrived early, but I’m thankful I could get it for her.)

School is going well. I’m two and a half years away from starting my master’s degree. My grandfather’s funeral in September was beautiful because my family was united in a way that it hasn’t been in the past. My roommate and I have a really awesome new couch! If I play my cards right (and no disaster befalls me), I’ll have the down payment for a house saved up in three years.

I also have beloved friends . . . beautiful on the inside and the outside, and practically family . . . who love me, listen to me, laugh with me, and pray for me.

Good things linger behind me; budding hopes beckon me forward; and as I look out the window at this cold, starry, snowless November night, I’m reminded that this really is the most wonderful time of the year.

“I’ve just looked in the glass, and I hadn’t the sign of a blush on my face. I suppose I’m not a properly constructed damsel at all.” – L.M. Montgomery

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