Christmas Still Comes

I took a nap today. I had to; that brick wall I’ve been speeding toward decided to firmly plant itself in front of my oncoming face. I slammed into it, fell backward toward the couch and slept the interrupted naptime sleep of a mom home alone with two boys, two parakeets and a dog.

It was blissful.

But I am still exhausted. And stressed.

Despite getting a decent start on cookie baking, I haven’t made the fun “decorate these in really gaudy ways” sugar cookies. I don’t know what dessert I’m making tomorrow evening for our Christmas Eve dinner at our house. I forgot to pick up the cloves that my husband needs for the ham. There are presents left to wrap. We forgot an Advent activity. The bathrooms aren’t clean. Earlier, when looking for my green sweater, I pulled out about 25% of my closet in a panic; I’ve yet to hang everything back up. I still don’t know what I’m wearing on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I still haven’t mailed the Christmas cards. I did that thing where I wrapped most of the boys presents, looked at the pile and thought, “That doesn’t look like a lot.” Despite being a lot. I look at my Christmas Ideas pinboard and realize that I haven’t done anything. Or enough. Or something.

I’m trying to find my center, a little room to breathe. Some perspective.

In church this morning, our Lady Pastor focused her sermon on the fact that whether you’re “ready” or not — whether you bake another four dozen cookies or wrap all of the presents or sprinkle reindeer food or mail the Christmas cards or clean the bathrooms — Christmas morning will arrive. That is the gift in and of itself.

And so I force myself to breathe. To let go a little bit.

This afternoon, we got our Advent on and took cookies and cards to our three immediate, super-nice neighbors. They have been a joy to live next to since moving here in March. The boys helped put some cookies on a holiday plate, cover it with foil and tape the cards to the top. They made a plan who got to carry the plate, who got to knock on the door at each house. They said their Merry Christmases. They wished Happy New Years.

Advent with Neighbors

Advent with Neighbors

Advent with Neighbors

As I stood back and watched it play out, I watched our older neighbors answer their doors and smile. I watched them wish their Merry Christmases, their Happy New Years. I watched their eyes light up. I watched the spirit of the season spread across their face. I watched love. In action.

I’m probably not going to catch up on everything that needs to be done by bedtime tomorrow night.

That’s okay.

Christmas will still come. We will still celebrate, still give thanks. We will have love in so many forms, from so many people. Some perspective, a shift of focus, a breath worth breathing.

A Merry Christmas indeed.


4 replies on “Christmas Still Comes”

I have missed three advent days, and was feeling overly guilty today. I wrapped our presents and said the same, “it’s not enough”. I have not done anything on my Pinterest board either. My kids also haven’t actually seen Santa this year (we were all sick). But somehow despite it all, they still have that magic in their eyes. It comes, no matter how much we do. Or don’t.

And in case anyone hasn’t told you lately, you are a kick ass Mom.

I’m with you. I have the best intentions but there are not enough hours in a day, week or month leading up to Christmas. I don’t do any baking except for a cake I will make on Christmas Day and I have not sent cards for a few years. I did decorate fully the interior and exterior of the house this year since I now work from home, and I’ve enjoyed that. We bought a small tree a year ago in the midst of remodeling and the boys opted to put that one up this year again in lieu of the big tree with hundreds of lights and ornaments. We do what we can. You do what you can and please don’t feel bad about the other stuff. Merry Christmas Jenna!

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