Thursday, December 22, 2011
This Christmas season has been a quiet one for me. Extra hours at work have forced me to let the mega baking plans go so our home doesn't have trays of goodies on every surface. I've done all of my shopping online so I've not set foot inside of a mall. I don't like malls and shopping but at Christmas time there is a certain cheeriness to the decorations, piped in music and Santa seeing little kids in a corner somewhere.
Our Christmas decorations went up as usual and I've enjoyed every moment of sitting at the end of the day admiring the lights and sentimental ornaments. I finally found most of the Christmas movies I was hoping for and that has been a great stress-reducer at the end of the day, crawling under a blanket and watching the Bishop's Wife.
Every year we wear pajamas on Christmas and every year I buy a new pair for the occasion. Haven't done that. We'll see if that happens or not.
A quiet holiday season isn't a bad thing. Although the Mr. did mention the other day that, not to rush anyone, but he's pretty much ready for a house full of grandchildren on the holidays. :) But life comes in seasons and we've had holidays of rushing out on Christmas Eve with our last paycheck to shop (awful!) Busy running from house to house. Up early to unwrap gifts and then a big breakfast and nap before going to my parents' home. This year I work the holiday so the slow-paced Christmas morning will commence without me. Mac works Christmas Eve so the Mexican fiesta will commence without him.
We've had to do some persistent planning to keep this quiet season on track because the quietness can make you kind of let it slide by and get a little too watered down. After all, it's the day we celebrate the coming of Messiah! It's not just another day or week or month regardless of lack of little ones or changing work hours. First instincts were too simplify the festivities but then the simplification got dangerously close to making it not special enough. Conversations came and went very quickly such as, should we just eat out on Christmas Eve since Mac isn't going to be here? Should we just skip baking altogether? Do you want to put the stockings away this year? And so on.
So we've made sure that the traditions and memories and once-a-year specialness aren't lost even as we've recalculated to ensure that we aren't sliding into Christmas morning wrapped in tinsel with dark circles under our eyes and angry at everyone we've been shopping for. I'll bake a few somethings for us instead of enough for work and the neighbors. The stocking are indeed hung by the chimney with care because goodness, would the half hour saved by not filling them have contributed to anything useful? Dean will make our traditional Mexican Christmas Eve dinner and Mac will come home at around midnight as usual and eat. If I'm not awake, the Mr. and Jay will be waiting for him. On Christmas morning we'll open a few gifts and as I go off to work, Mac will be with his brother and dad to enjoy breakfast and a lazy morning. Not as we would prefer it but those who can will hold the fort for another season of celebration and wonderfulness.
There will be no frozen dinners in place of Christmas goodies and no "not-this-year" for traditions we've loved forever. No matter your particular situation this year, please don't let your mind take over where your heart should be for Christmas. Mary is said to have kept everything in her heart, cherishing and treasuring the miracle of Emanuel, Christ with us. Make it as loud and bright or quiet and serene as it should be in your home, but do not make it easy. Make it on purpose and simple and lovely. But not easy, there is nothing easy about the salvation of the world.
When my planning slipped from simple enough so that I can truly feel the beauty to easy so I can just get it over with, I had to stop and start over.
I, like Mary, will keep this time in my heart.