It's so true in many situations, isn't it, that a little can go a long way.
Take the weekend before last. I was home alone - unplanned; O.K. was supposed to be with me all weekend. But he had been struggling with a nasty cold all week already (of course still going to work everyday, plus having extra band practice in preparation for the annual concert), and by Friday evening, it was clear that the reasonable thing to do would be for him to stay home and get some rest on the weekend, not face a 150 km drive on potentially snowy roads just to see me and then back on Sunday night with probably more snow.
Of course I missed seeing him, but a visit to the Christmas Market with my sister cheered me up, as did the sight of a light dusting of snow on Saturday morning:
On the Sunday, it snowed a lot more, and I only left the house to go to the gym, which is really just down the road from where I live.
In the afternoon, I dediced to do something about the somewhat less than happy mood in my house (long story - nothing to do with me, but it does affect me nonetheless). It being the 2nd Advent Sunday, I prepared three plates of chocolate-covered Lebkuchen (a typical German Christmas thing), put a tea light in the middle of each and took them round to the three other flats in my house; the attic one, the ground floor and the (very new) cellar mini-flat that has recently been created and is rented by a young Syrian refugee who is a trainee at one of the biggest factories in my town. I'd not met him yet, so I thought this was a good occasion to introduce myself to my new neighbour.
I took the plates round and they were much appreciated. Everybody wanted me to come in and stay for a cup of tea or coffee, but I declined; all I wanted was to spread a little cheer, and I think I managed that.
The following week (last week) was once again very busy work-wise. Ever since I moved into this flat in 2003, I have never done so little in terms of Christmas decoration. A big box full still sits in my cellar, but even though I very much feel "christmassy" in my heart and mind, I somehow don't feel like bringing the box upstairs and decorate.
Instead, this year I rely on the many beautiful Christmas cards I keep receiving - the minority from Germany, the majority from friends and family in Yorkshire and from my blogging friends. Thank you all so much - you know who you are!
They do give the living room a festive mood, don't they? Also, today I received my presents from England, which I will open on the morning of the 25th, before getting on a train to O.K.'s. I have put them on the TV table next to my Midsomer Murders Christmas special DVD, which my sister-in-law sent me some years ago.
On the coffee table sits the advent wreath my Mum and Dad gave me. You can see only two candles are lit; I was home last night (on the 3rd Advent Sunday) at 10:30 pm and went to bed almost immediately without lighting any candles.
The yellow pillow case is a gift from my sister. You probably can't see it very well in the picture, but it is covered in tiny shiny stars - very festive!
Above the settee is the only Christmas ornament I have brought up from the cellar, with its brother in the bedroom.
It has been snowing this morning, making me glad I was working from home for a few hours before going to my customer where I have a desk on the 9th floor. Seeing the snow, receiving cards and parcels, knowing I have all my presents ready (they only need wrapping), the concert of O.K.'s village band last Saturday night and having coffee and more Lebkuchen with his family on Sunday afternoon - it all adds to the Christmas mood I'm in.
And then there was the funny little conversation I had with the postie just an hour ago. Lucky I was home when he rang, as he brought the aforementioned presents from England and some more cards! When I saw how much he had for me, I said "So much!" to which he replied with a smile: "Well, if you order so many things..."
I said that I had ordered nothing, and that these were all presents for me, since I'd been good all year and we all know that Santa brings nice things to the good ones. I added that I was sure he'd been good, too, and would have lovely presents for Christmas. He looked at me for a moment through his slightly steamed-up specs (it was cold outside, and much warmer in my stair case, where we were standing), then broke into a wide grin and said "You're right!" before he wished me a good day and went back down the stairs. After he shut the door from outside, I still heard him chuckle.
As I said, a little can go a long way.