Am I the only one who feels like Christmas is a mad sprint to the finish line?
Trees – must be lit so they look magical and have the proper mix of beautiful ornaments and handmade ones – must allow children to decorate – but not really – but not hover – but make sure it looks good – but “enjoy the time together”
Outdoors – must look festive – must find ways to get husband to participate without him acting like a cat heading for the bathtub – again – sparkly – magic – must be done yourself – but look professional
Gifts – so many to buy – and hide – and wrap – and ensure that both the dollar value, quantity and relative size is exactly equal as determined by child logic
Cards – Step 1: Take perfect picture Step 2: Order perfect card (worry that you are ruining environment, hate that they are so expensive, order anyway) Step 3: Manage list that roughly resembles a corporate database (knowledge of Excel a plus) Step 4: Write something personal so that they don’t feel like direct marketing pieces for your children Step 5: Stuff, seal, stamp send
Every year I make it to Christmas morning a shell of my former self. I’m tired, I’m teary eyed, I’m worried that I didn’t make Christmas “magical enough” for my kids. I know I didn’t enjoy getting there. I doubt they enjoyed being with me for the ride.
This year on my 50th birthday I made a promise to myself that I would no longer do things I thought I SHOULD do, but would instead do things I WANT to do.
Things I want to do instead of assembling cards like some sort of piece work factory slave:
Make the time to visit our old neighbor Shirley who lives alone and would crochet blankets for my children. I’ve been “too busy” to see her. This year I’m taking a plant and some cocoa and making the time.
Help at our church this week preparing food for the Homeless Shelter and taking Wilson to help serve.
Make thoughtful gifts for the people I love the most instead of finding whatever can be overnighted on Amazon.
Take the kids skating in the city. Every year I’m “too busy” – buying, wrapping, sending – soon they’ll be gone and I will have missed this precious time.
Keaton wants to “do something Christmas-y” every day. I don’t think his idea of Christmas cheer is licking envelopes. I know it’s not mine.
So here are the photos we took for our Christmas card. You might notice some children that don’t belong to me, Nell and Jane have grown up with my kids and are as much a part of the Evans family as anyone can be so this year we photographed them together.
I think we all need to give ourselves a break. Do the things we want to do, not the things we think we should do. I hope you all have the Merriest of Christmases and enjoy the blessing of being alive. This quote was part of our sermon last Sunday and it really hit a nerve with me. What is it I want to do with my precious time? I’m not always sure of the answer, but I know that this year it doesn’t involve “The Perfect Christmas Card”.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver