Naturally, we're supposed to be preparing for Christmas, but we haven't. We can't! We haven't a strand of lights, a bough of evergreen--no wreath, no ribbon, no shred of festive cheer on our front porch. I barely have the wherewithal to fill the bird feeders and run out the garbage. I'd love our house to look like this, but we're in survival mode. Survivors don't have time for frills. We're too busy shoveling driveways and doing laundry and fixing supper to tie bows and string garland.
Add the equivalent of full-time work to my plate this month, basketball schedules and the holiday extras like concerts and such, and we were lucky to even trim our Christmas tree. We managed to squeeze in the tree trimming between basketball games and practices over the weekend, and I felt a tiny surge of joy. See? I told myself, You're freaking out over nothing. Christmas is easy--baby steps--get the tree up, then bake a couple dozen cookies, get gifts next week, wrap them. It's fine. You'll be fine! It will all get done. Just sip some egg nog and ENJOY the season!
A few hours later, that fully decked-out fir, bedazzled with lights and ornaments and holiday cheer, slumped to its side. The tree stand cracked and Eileen (which is what I named our tree) crashed against the wall.
|Eileen the Christmas tree.|
I used to mock people who'd hire a service to decorate their house for the holidays. Isn't that part of the fun of Christmas? Why wouldn't you want to do that for yourself and enjoy the tradition? Who'd want to celebrate Christmas by proxy?
Oh. I get it. I GET IT.
So, right now we have a tree that leans. No outside decorations. No wrapped presents. No fudge or caramel corn or candles or garland. I'll get to the post office, the store, the Salvation Army kettle. I'll clear the ice from our front porch, get the guy over to fix the fireplace and keep the bird feeders full. This might be year all our cookies are store-bought and we don't watch It's A Wonderful Life. It won't matter. Christmas will come in two weeks, and the only thing I really need to have ready is my heart. I'm learning to let go of the rest.