Several years ago I traded pine trees and snow for palm trees and sand.
The first Christmas away from the cold and beautiful white blanket I was homesick. Nothing seemed the same. Nothing felt right. I missed my family, I missed wrapping up in layers and traipsing through the snow. I missed caroling and snuggling around the fire trying to remember what my toes felt like.
I was engulfed with memories taking me back to times when I rushed out of bed, sliding my feet onto an ice cold floor and rushing downstairs to get warm.
I closed my eyes and remembered Grandma's kitchen warm from bread coming out of the oven. The Santa favors she made from apples, sitting at the head of each plate.
While shopping one day, sorting through a pile of wall plaques the words, Bloom Where God Plants You, stared back at me.
I wish I could say that was the day I realized Christmas isn't about pine trees and snow, or palm trees and sand, but about the way I feel.
Earlier this week I heard myself say, I can't wait for Christmas this year, it's on Sunday. I felt joy in my heart, knowing we would start the day worshiping and celebrating Jesus birth. The reason for Christmas.
And spending the rest of the day surround with friends I love.