The holidays are upon us. It seems that November 15th begins a recurring, slippery slide for me every year. It’s absolutely confounding to me that we could arrive here so quickly each year, I mean it was just February something the other day, wasn’t it? How did this happen? I’ve been thinking about going outside and cutting back a few of the plants in the yard before the bad weather gets here. Hmmm, guess that will have to wait now because there’s already 2 inches of snow on everything. And what on earth happened to those fall walks I was going to take this year? Did we have fall? Or did I actually fall and lose September and October?
There are presents to buy. I frantically call my kids and ask what sizes the grandchildren are wearing now. Size 10? Really? When did he sprout up so much? And she’s into size 8? “My gosh, you must be feeding those kids food tainted with steroids or something! Will you please stop that? I’d like to enjoy my grandchildren as ‘children’ for awhile before they move into those years of teen-hood and grandma won’t be any fun anymore.”
There are church activities rolling upon us, drama parts to practice, people to touch base with. Do we want to have a dinner party? If so, when will that fit into these rapidly declining days? And the bazaars. When will I go check out all the wonderful things at bazaars that I love to look at, and then realize, “I could make that!”, and I never buy anything (and I don’t ever get around to ‘making that’ either!)? Do I have enough cards for this year and what will I include in my famous Christmas letter? Something truly boring so Uncle Charlie will make fun of me at Christmas again this year? Or should I just report the news of this year that shot by attached to a rocket? Maybe I should totally make up what goes into the letter this year…that will surely get the relatives back in touch with each other.
“Guess what honey, it’s time to dig around in the loft and find all the Christmas decorations. What do we want to put up this year? Oh no, that thing is so tacky and worn, put it back into the box,” I say. Why on earth doesn’t it go into the trash if it’s that tacky and worn? Do we want a real tree or will the artificial one do? Real? Well, then I want to get it soon because I love the smell of trees, even if they do only last about an hour and then begin to drop needles all over the house. By the time Christmas is over, there are needles around the toilet for crying out loud and the tree looks like something out of a minor forest fire. I want to know how on earth this happens every year!
There’s always the issue of where will the holidays take place; our house, parents, children, relatives. OK, so this year we’re cooking dinner. Perhaps I’ll try that new recipe I saw in one of the magazines. You know, the recipe for pumpkin, raspberry, pine nut, sage dressing. My husband whines, “oh, remember the recipe you tried last time? It didn’t turn out so good!” Oh yeah, I remember that, it really was an awful recipe. But I don’t want to cook the same ‘ol things for dinner, I’d like to try something new. My husband rolls his eyes. “Here we go again” this particular roll of the eyes tells me.
Oh man, the weather is turning really cold out. “Honey, are we ready for the arctic blast that is on its way?” Frozen pipes on these occasions wouldn’t be a good thing…all the company and no bathrooms brings back memories. I remember the year we totally lost power for a few days, the pump froze, there was about six inches of snow on the ground, and we had to trek to the back pasture of our farm to, well, you know! It was cold and treacherous business, that year was!
How does this happen that I get caught unaware every year? “I’m not ready for this,” I scream inside. I think I just want to sit back, sip on a cup of joe, read a good book, and just let it all go this year. Let’s face it, before I can blink my eyes, it will be November 15th again anyway! I can really get a head start if I start thinking about next year right now!
We can’t change the freight-train speed of this time of year, so we might as well find the humor in it all. Happy Thanksgiving to you all…may our Lord bless and keep you, shine His grace upon you, and make your holiday truly a time of thankfulness, family, friends, and laughter.
I LOVE the way you write. It’s as if you took the words right out of my mouth, but I would never have been able to say it as eloquently as you do. Blessings!
Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way…. I keep thinking I should put up some decorations, but then I think it’s alot of work, and it’s only for a few weeks anyhow. Right??? I enjoy the shopping, but then don’t like what it does to my bank account. Overall, I just enjoy the time with my family, and try to do what I can to make it as stress free as possible. That usually consists of being careful not to over-commit, and letting others around me know that I don’t expect anything, other than their company. Dinner does not have to be special, homes don’t need to be perfectly decorated, and I don’t need anything other than their love, and some time to reflect on the real meaning of the season.
For me, my favorite part of the season is first, Christmas Eve, when we head up to my parents, and my sisters and their families gather round, and we just enjoy our time with the family together. Then on Christmas day, my joy comes from sitting next to my husband at his parents. The fire is going, I have a fresh cup of coffee, and get to listen to my Mother-in-law, as she reads from her Bible and tells us of the birth of Christ. I know it keeps showing up seemingly more rapid each year, but I would not trade those few hours for any others throughout the year.