This is it, kids. We are in the final countdown and Christmas will be here one week from today. Baby Jesus will be in the manger. Santa will have visited. And your family room will be strewn with all manner of wrappings and trappings and a gathering of those you love the most.
In the meantime, though, we are still in the throes of Advent. Ain’t it grand?
It’s such a peaceful time of quietly reading my devotional by the light of the Christmas tree. Of course, the children are complete angels who’ve only asked for things they need from St. Nicholas. Nobody is getting sick. There is plenty of time to do all the baking as one big happy family No one eats too much or complains about anything. Really, it’s perfection!
Bahahahahaha!!! JUST KIDDING!
Here’s a more realistic rundown of this insane week before Christmas. Maybe this is something you can relate to?
The day starts peacefully enough. I actually read and journal in my devotional with a candle lit and the Christmas lights on. But that’s when the peacefulness stops.
Normally, I don’t work on Mondays. Naturally, though, this is the week I have to go in for a bit. And not only do I have to go in, but I have to take the kid who is staying home “sick” for one more day. (Side note: Y’all are welcome that I didn’t send that kid to school today and followed the no fever for 24 hours rule when I had stuff to do!)
When work is done, it’s time to take the sickie along for the ride while I run a few errands. Hit up the grocery store just to get stuff for dinner. Then run by a friend’s house to pick up a crockpot. Next comes the post office, but dayuummmmm! that place was busy! The line was out the door and around the way and I was NOT going to stand there for an hour just to get pretty stamps. So, back to the grocery store we went and bought the plain old flag ones from the customer service counter. And they’ll work just fine, thankyouverymuch.
Once we got home, there were accounts to balance, bills to pay, Christmas cards to finish, and laundry to do. School pickup, more laundry, yet another cup of coffee and then dance class. On the way home from dance, I stopped to pick up teachers’ gift cards, but was then informed that I bought them from the wrong place. Fan-freaking-tastic.
We then rounded out the night with dinner and falling asleep on the couch to the Great British Baking Show Holiday Edition.
You guys. It’s early in the morning right now and I’m already scared of this day. Work (again, on a non-work day), Hobby Lobby (to replace the lighted garland that broke last year), and the Catholic bookstore to (finally) get that baby Jesus to go in the manger my dad made.
And since I only got the dinner necessities at Publix yesterday, I’ll go back and drop even more cash on the rest of the groceries we need. Because no matter how much I feed them, my kids just can’t.stop.eating.
Then I’ll go do the doctor because it’s super convenient for a singer to have a sore throat before Christmas.
Finishing the day off with PT for Kid 2, dinner in the crockpot, and maybe finally getting around to wrapping a present or two.
Oh! And throw in some time for meaningful prayer and reflection.
Finally, it’s the big day for this music teacher. It’s time for the preschool Christmas program! It’s been a pain in the butt at times, but man those kids are cute! Fingers crossed, their parents will like it and none of the kids will wet themselves or run crying off the stage.
After work, I’m hosting the faculty Christmas lunch (DANG! Add cleaning the house and buying my Secret Santa gift to Tuesday, OK?).
Choir practice tonight should be fun…and three hours long.
Oh! And, of course, throw in some time for meaningful prayer and reflection. And more laundry.
Kids are still in school. Kid 3 has a project due (DANG AGAIN! Add helping her finish the project to Wednesday, OK?) I’m supposed to volunteer at Kid 4’s classroom party one day. Kids 1 & 2 are finishing up exams. And I think there’s an ugly sweater day and a PJ day in there somewhere.
And I need to bake all the things.
And put up that garland I bought.
Maybe we’ll actually make it to that adults-only Christmas party we were invited to? God willing we’ll be able to go, because the rum cake the hostess makes every year is ahhhhmayzing.
Oh! I’m supposed to be praying and laundry-ing and reflecting meaningfully, right?
Grandma & Grandad arrive today! You’ve seen that video of the crazy mom cleaning her house before company comes, right? That’s all the info you need about how Saturday is going to go.
Once they get here, though? All bets are off. We’re going to eat a delicious dinner. We’re gonna decorate the sugar cookies. And I’m gonna pop open a bottle of wine or two, hand my mom her very own tape and scissors and we are gonna knock this Christmas thing out of the freaking park, damn it!
Oh, and of course I will spend time with my beautiful devotional in the glowing lights of the Christmas tree. Naturally.
So, here’s to us, moms!
Here’s to all the moms who wish they had more time and heart space to devote to the true meaning of the season. Who really feel like they are this close to losing their minds and totally freaking out. Whose kids are still in school…whose kids are in exams…whose kids have come home with YET ANOTHER gift exchange they HAVE to do…who have baked stuff that’s already disappeared…who still have to send out cards…who are hurting in any way…who don’t know how it’s all going to get done.
Let’s just breathe, OK? Let’s take a few minutes every day to touch base with that joyful hope that we know we should be experiencing, but can’t seem to grasp hold of. We can’t do it all at once, but we can continuously choose to do the next right thing.
There truly is peace and magic in this beautiful season. God help us find it, though, because we sure can’t do it on our own.