My children and husband are all tucked into bed. I have JUST finished wrapping the last of the gifts and the stockings, carefully hung by the chimney with care, are now chock full o' goodies. The house is dark and quiet and I am sitting here listening to endless Christmas music, in the glow of the lighted tree and mantel.
All over here in the Hinterland, travel has been halted and plans have changed as people anxiously wait to see what sort, and how much precipitation will fall next. Oooo, baby it's cold outside, with alternating bouts of rain and sleet and snow falling. But despite that, it's truly one of the prettiest Christmas Eves I can remember.
We are two Christmas celebrations down, with two to go. Our own in the morning, and my family after lunch until Saturday. We hosted the Hubs family (his parents from FL and one brother and s-i-l and two kiddos) yesterday and this morning. We shared in 2 meals and a gift exchange among the kiddos last night, then a huge pancake buffet this morning, and celebrated all 6 kid's birthdays, complete with cupcakes and icecream at 10:30am! This afternoon I had two errands to run to complete my shopping for celebrations #3-4, so The Hubs and I zipped out for an hour alone to do that.
We enjoyed Christmas Eve service tonight, our first in 6+ years that we have not participated in. And....I'm not sure how I feel about it. Timing wise, it was the best thing for us to say "no, not this year", but as I had more moments of melancholy this week than not, I realized that I had said no to the one thing that keeps Christmas the most real to me. Celebating the birth of my Savior King with my voice, through the gift of music. So, I missed it. I teared up as the band was played without me.
This Christmas season has been very...hmmm...funky(?) for me. I have felt stuck and obligated, somedays even a little sad and in general just outta sorts. Anyone know where to get some sorts?
Every year, come the day after Thanksgiving, I vow this will be the year it will be different. I'll get my shopping done early. I'll actually send Christmas cards, before Christmas (if at all). We'll do an advent calendar with devotions with the kids. I'll do more baking. Fun baking with the kids. Maybe even host a party. Ring bells for Salvation Army or some other "giving and serving" opportunity.
And every year? it doesn't happen. Not a one.
We get caught up in the buying and cleaning and shopping and fussing. I always seem to be doing everything at the last possible moment. Our schedule is a rotating door, in and out and in again. The Hubs traveled (with very little warning) all of last week and that was a major hiccup in my plans, plus we had a portion of our sewer line excavated and replaced as well (and Merry Christmas to us!) Even though my house has been "appropriately" decorated for the whole month, tonight is truly the first time I have thought, Ahh...it's Christmas.
And tomorrow, Christmas will be over. I wonder if I start thinking about NEXT Christmas now, while I am still in the spirit of things, if that will help? Hmmmm...
But now as seeing as it's nearly 2am and my children will be awake in a mere 5 hours, (and I have even more family to host and two more huge meals to prepare tomorrow) I must let my weary mind and body rest; perhaps the sugarplum fairies will come dance in my head...if even for a moment. And so I bid you all the Merriest Christmas.
May God bless us, everyone.
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."