Last Saturday, delivery men brought us a new couch. I am enjoying it very much. We enjoy having the extra seating space and look forward to having our family stretch out comfortably over the holidays.
The one fly in the ointment is that the loveseat and overstuffed chair it replaces can't be picked up by St. Vincent de Paul until the 19th. Our living room closely resembles a furniture warehouse, in fact. This would not necessarily cause a problem in, say, September, but it certainly is cramping my Christmas decorating plans. No point in buying a tree: no place to set it up. No point in unwrapping all my little knick-knacks and dispersing them throughout the house. No point in bringing my decorative lighted penguins up from the basement, because I can't get them outside onto the porch! No point in sending my husband up into the attic to bring down the boxes of decorations: they would completely fill up the rest of the living room and we would not be happy.
All of this means I truly am celebrating Advent this year rather than Christmas! I enjoy the anticipation of Christmas itself. I light the Advent candles every time I sit down to eat. I faithfully put the little magnetic figures of my Advent calendar up on my kitchen cabinet door. I listen to my collection of Christmas and Advent CDs playing all day long. I watch the snow falling and hear the winds blowing. I read.
I'm not able to get out to the shops very much this year, so most of my Christmas purchases come on-line. This brings its own fun, because I can also spend time poring over catalogs! Frankly, this enforced calm regarding decorating and shopping brings quite a nice change from the usual compulsions.
I don't recommend redecorating your living room just before Christmas, but there might be compensations. Savor that hot chocolate and listen to Christmas music, because you can't put lights on your non-existent tree anyway!