We lived through Christmas. Actually, it was rather joyous. And hectic. And that’s with the plan of it not being hectic. So, it balanced somewhere at moderately hectic. Hence the declaration of joyousness (versus a blog about a breakdown or something).
And what do you know? I actually learned a thing or two or twelve.
- Planning ahead and shopping ahead does not eliminate the anxious breakdown that seems to creep up about three days ahead of Christmas. My plan of being well-planned, didn’t make me feel any better prepared. Actually, I kept second-guessing myself and my careful lists. But with the help of my trusty spouse, everything was just fine.
- No matter what, I will have a complete allergy breakdown the day after Christmas. Artificial tree or not. It must just be the lack of sleep with worries of children’s choir mass and midnight mass, and pie baking and presents, and food for Christmas day. I would, however, like to thank my nose for waiting until the 26th. So, thank you nose.
- Regardless of how much stuff I envision we will do together as a family over break, time just flies. I can’t believe it’s over.
- Santa’s idea of putting Christmas presents NEXT to the tree is not the same as him leaving them UNDER the tree. Ask Amelia Bedelia (aka Lillian). That was a 48-hour debate. I’m not 100% sure she’s convinced.
- Skyping with my parents in Florida is an absolute hoot. Our post-Christmas family gift was an HD web cam. My dad is hilarious. He keeps making decorative wooden birds peck at my mom’s hair while she’s talking to the kids. She has no idea, and the kids are in stitches. (As am I.)
- If I don’t keep up with every tradition we’ve done in years past, I will be turned in and declared an Advent failure in front of our pastor. It’s true: we didn’t break out the Jesse tree. We read a bunch of the readings throughout the season, but I couldn’t commit to having sparsely decorated, semi-empty branches of that tree, with the dish of un-read reading ornaments mocking me. And I couldn’t deal with that same whistle-blowing child nagging me to do the readings every night. (I know, that sounds a rather un-holy combination of words–nagging and The Word of God. But keep in mind it isn’t the Word that was nagging.) These aren’t excuses … but … I did organize and put on a musical advent/nativity program for our parish. And I put on my first of a six-session seminar for moms. No to mention, I live with a 20-month old havoc-wreaker who calls me Mama. I still had to function. We prayed together. We did. We reflected on the O Antiphons. We read a bunch of the Jesse tree readings, we just didn’t do ALL of the readings (some are quite long). So, put me in the Advent-failure Chokey.
- Home-from-college daughter has mistaken her bedroom for a hotel room. And me as housekeeper and concierge. She miraculously forgot where everything in the house goes and apparently has lost her mastery of the alarm clock. Or any clock, for that matter. Sadly, just the same, she goes back to school very early on Monday.
- If you shake our Christmas tree, balls tumble out from the branches to the ground. (Not bulbs. Actual balls.)
- Toys with wooden balls and mallets are not really a good choice for Cliffy. (Duck).
- I am grateful our children really want for very little. Their desires for all-thing-material are oddly modest. That makes the season that much more joyous.
- I spend so much time in the preparing and waiting for Christmas that once it actually gets here, it goes by too fast. I think I’d like to get a little sick of it before it’s over. I’m just ready to celebrate, and everyone is already packing up their stuff and taking down their trees.
- I love how the Advent and all-too-quick Christmas seasons bring my focus back to the babyhood of Jesus. I love the idea of the tiny baby hands of the sweet infant Jesus. The same hands that created the universe, helplessly clutching the waiting fingers of the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. I imagine them wrapping him up like a peanut, and holding him close to their hearts, keeping him warm.
Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. God bless us everyone.