I close my eyes and can see the image perfectly. My mom sitting at the dining room table, surrounded by stacks of envelopes, cheery christmas cards, and endless clusters of stamps. There’s a mug of warm tea sending wisps of steam into the air. A bowl of freshly popped popcorn is not far off, in case the ‘munchies’ strike. And three little children (yes, I’m one of them) dance to the tune of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” playing from the radio.
She was the image of cozy. Country. Christmas. Had Norman Rockwell walked by, he would have stared into the window just long enough to imprint the image into his mind for a future painting. Every year, a week or so before Christmas, she would sit there with her cup of hot tea and would personally fill out Christmas messages to family and friends. It was a familiar tradition that helped us all slow down and focus on family, friends, and the real meaning of Christmas.
Now, I open my eyes, and I’m sitting in my own dining room. One fluffy black cat has knocked my neatly stacked envelopes to the floor. The gray cat is dangerously close to doing the same with my stamps. My eye feels itchy, so I scratch the left side of my face. I freeze. I probably have a glittery face now. (My Christmas cards are obnoxiously glittery this year. Not that I wanted to be obnoxious! I just saw them in the store, glittering like tiny gems, and I bought them in a mesmerized trance, thinking, “These are so pretty”. Now I wonder if people will hate me when they open them).
It’s three days before Christmas, and I don’t have all the time in the world. In fact, I have one hour. So my long list of who needs a Christmas card is cut down to family members… just for this year. (Besides, family will have to forgive me for the sprinkler of glitter that is sure to happen when they open my Christmas card. Right? I say, am I right?).
I’m coughing up a lung from the bronchitis. I’ve already realized that my hope to make homemade muffins for the neighbors isn’t going to happen this year either. And I wonder if Norman Rockwell, in all his artist genius, could have turned this image into a peaceful, Christmas scene.
Then I glance over at the Christmas tree. There are two neatly wrapped presents there with my name on it. (Yes, Nate is ahead of me in the gift wrapping department this year). Just to the left of the tree are Christmas cards that we received from family and friends. Nate is sitting on the couch, watching a documentary on the history channel. The cats are playing hockey with the leaflet of stamps. And I just smile.
Because this year, I might still be a bit new at this. And if someone were to paint the scene taking place, it might be a bit hectic and crazy. I imagine that if the picture was made into a Christmas card, the resulting caption would probably be more humorous than inspirational.
But Nate and I are together. And we’ll be with ones that we love. And even though I’m covered in glitter and not yet as organized as my mom, I’m going to enjoy every moment of this holiday craziness. Because I see two options. I can get frustrated and dread the hustle and bustle. Or I can embrace it.
And I choose to embrace my crazy Christmas.
(Let’s just say that I’ve learned some lessons for next year). 🙂
Are you ‘ahead of the game’ when it comes to sending out Christmas cards, Christmas shopping, baking, and wrapping? Or do you find yourself going a bit crazy the days before the holiday? And if so, are you able to enjoy it anyway?