Today I really miss Jewell. It's Hanging of the Green in Chapel, which means Christmastime at Jewell has officially begun.
I used to be a part of a collaborative blog that has since fizzled, but click here to read the post I wrote after my first Christmas experience at Jewell two years ago.
Tonight, in honor of Hanging of the Green, I tried to go to a carol service in the Sheldonian Theater. I had to go straight from tutorial, and entered the building by myself. I scanned the sea of faces for anyone familiar, but to no avail. I made my way to a seat, awkwardly perched in between two large groups of friends, and willed myself to be invisible. The band started playing, the smiles grew brighter, and the excitement tangibly filled the room.
But I grabbed my backpack and left. The thought of singing joyful carols amidst strangers, without the ones I love, didn't seem right. Didn't seem a promising way of beginning the Christmas holidays.
When I entered the library, I saw that someone had brought four packages of goodies and had left them on the middle shelf, with an encouraging note that was signed, "Christmas love, xx." No name, no need for attention, just a simple gift intended to make the Oxford work load a little more festive, a little more hopeful. And that, I think, is the perfect way to begin.