When Robin left for his most recent trip to North Carolina, I was just starting to really feel like Christmas. Then, while he was still gone, we got one of those Snowmageddon things the media so enjoys. I put my head down, plowed (geddit?) my way through until Robin came home, and only lifted it up again this weekend to find that CHRISTMAS IS ONLY A FEW DAYS AWAY. Aiieeeeee!
I wish I could master the trick of preparing simultaneously for both the physical and spiritual aspects of Christmas, but I haven’t, yet. With three days left, and much still to do, this year I really must find a way of keeping joy in my heart while my hands are busy, however, or I will miss out on all the good stuff.
In the hope that some of you may get a lift from it as well, my Christmas happy things list:
1) Listening, all the way through, to the campy Christmas albums I’ve loved from childhood. I think this year my favorite has been Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. We had this on a cassette (all the rest of my mom’s Christmas collection was vinyl), and as a kid I was convinced, based on nothing but the cover photo, that Dolly and Kenny were married to each other in some fairytale kind of way. When I mentioned this theory to my mom, and she quite understandably (but kindly) pooh-poohed it, I was more traumatized by far than the day I admitted to myself that Santa was not a literal truth.
2. I love stories like this one from the NY Times blog “Motherlode.” The holidays are such a minefield of emotion and tradition, old hurts and new needs colliding all over the place. It is a comfort to hear of people who have managed to make something beautiful out of it all.
3. Stephen Colbert’s take on that Bill O’Reilly post was very similar to my own. I therefore expect, in 2011, to be making huge money writing for The Colbert Report. You know, once I catch the attention of the guy who won Twitter in 2010. Yay!
4. My pies, made from filling I froze as an experiment, turned out beautifully, and I have a new cookie recipe to make with the kids once Riya’s done with school this week.
5. Christmas cards. I love Christmas cards.
6. This quote from C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle sprang to mind the other day. It never fails to give me a thrill down my spine: “In our world too, a stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.”
7. Although making Christmas happen as the mom is harder than I ever realized as a child (thanks, Mom, for everything!), I believe it will all be worth it. It’s worth it already, each morning, when the kids are equally excited over each of our Advent calendars: the one that counts down to Santa, and the ones with daily devotionals.
Children are full of the Love, Hope, Joy, and Peace (if you can call it peace when they are continually so wound up that they cannot sit down for more than a minute at a time) that Jesus’s birth should inspire, and they are the best ministers a busy, distracted, tired mom could ever need.