Simple Joys

This week two of my favorite holidays begin to coalesce: Loi Krathong and Christmas. Like East meets West, all in one week. Loi Krathong is a festival of lights, where the entire holiday surrounds spiritual time at temple and then releasing paper lanterns into the night sky and floating it down the river in an annual cleansing of sins. I’m also preparing for Christmas: gifts that need to be shipped overseas, cookies that need to be baked with kids before we close for the holidays, decor that needs to be hung and joyful tidings strung.

As different as these two festivals may be, at root, they do have similarities. They both offer time for spiritual reflection. And they both encourage us to revel in the simple beauty of lights shining through the dark like little beacons of hope and warmth.

The pure joy of Loi Krathong lies in watching lights ascend in the night sky. No crazy commercialism, no pressure, no expectations. Just pretty lights floating like stars.

As complex as Christmas can become (Just what is that perfect gift? Who’s going to be here when? Is Auntie Susan still not talking to Uncle Mark? Will we have time to do everything I’ve pinned?), when it comes down to it, the highlights are always the simple things: that look of joy when a loved one does open that perfect gift, stolen kisses under the mistletoe, pecan pie, champagne glasses clinking, and hands holding hands while hymns are sung.

The joy of giving.

It’s going to get all kinds of busy real fast up in here.

But for tonight, I’m grateful for the simple joys. Incredibly generous friends and family*, cuddles with a warm puppy, a husband who makes me laugh, comfort food, and a good book. These are my lanterns in the dark.

*I only wish I could give a shout out and link up to everyone I’m grateful for.

For the month of November, we’re focusing on Gratitude and sharing what joys in life we would like to give thanks for. Share your blessings with us, and link it up at Hyacynth’s this week!

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6 thoughts on “Simple Joys

  1. Beautiful! LOVE the floating lanterns…and learning about what you live and learn in a different culture. it's so wonderful when the busyness doesn't crowd out these simple moments of comfort and gratitude!

  2. This week we’re celebrating Loi Krathong – Wednesday and Thursday will have lots of lanterns, lights, fireworks, floats and parades. Traffic will be horrible, you’ll have to dodge firecrackers and sparklers, and keep an eye out for floating lanterns that aren’t quite floating high enough and instead coming down on you, raining burning lighter fluid.

  3. Attending a release of paper lanterns is on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing the photos. They only serve to make me more determined to get there in person!

  4. I've said this everytime I see those photos and I WILL one day get there to see it in person. This time of year can get so crazy, but yet in the same breath there is so much to be thankful for.