Although we're only a few days into December, Christmas is in full swing around our house. After church on Sunday morning, Matt and I ventured out in the rain (California pretty much shuts down if it sprinkles, so this was pretty risky) to find a Christmas tree. We learned our lesson last year that we need to go straight to the places that sell trees from the northwest. It's pretty laughable to stroll around some parking lot and point to a wrapped up tree that just got pulled off a truck from Oregon, but hey, it's one of the small trade offs you make around here for 50 weeks of sunshine annually.
Don't be fooled by the patch of blue sky and Matt's squinting eyes in that picture, it was surprisingly wet and chilly all weekend! Our yard suddenly has grass now and I don't have to avoid eye contact with my neighbors when I water my garden (I've been getting intimidating looks from people who are rudely reminding me that we're in a drought this year; thank you rain!) We stayed indoors, drank hot chocolate and decorated our house. Matt "offered" to put the lights on the tree for me this year, and let's just say it looks incredible!
Last night we drove into Hollywood with Dan & Bean to go see "The Surjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice", or essentially, Sufjan Steven's Christmas concert. It was incredible! He released a new box set of Christmas songs this year and it's wonderful. He played a combination of songs from that, songs from his old albums and classic Christmas songs. We were handed song books when we walked in and invited to sing along to any and all songs that he played. It was amazing. I can't explain how it felt to look around a venue, in the middle of Hollywood, filled with hundreds of people who are loudly singing about the hope of Jesus. Oh, and everyone was dressed a bit ridiculous, including us! (If you can't wear leather pants in Hollywood, where CAN you?)
Let me tell you, that man seriously loves Christmas. Probably more than anyone I've ever witnessed. Except maybe my mom. Sufjan demands a serious presence, it was indescribable. He would look up from his piano and boldly sing the lyrics about his faith to the audience. He even laid out the gospel pretty clearly after singing a hymn. If you haven't enjoyed any of his Christmas music yet, I encourage you to listen to it! Sufjan is a genius.
I will be crafting my life away to catch up on Christmas cards, gifts and some inventory for a holiday bizarre that's coming up in a couple weeks. Why can't December be six weeks long? I wouldn't mind!