Our Christmas was just right. Or better. Yes, better than just right. There is a huge list of things I did not do, errands left for another month, decorations still packed, traditions set aside, details that failed to rise to the top of very necessary.
In those last few days, when some are frantic, and strangers are asking, 'Are you ready for Christmas?'
I love the happy realization that Yes... yes, I am ready. We have each other, sandwich fixings, and favorite games, we have candles, music, an almost decent roof. The rest are extras. Amazing, lovely, and honestly, unnecessary extras.
Once I've read some favorite stories, had friends over for food and good cheer, I feel giddy and blissed out. Christmas carols have been playing since... oh, about...
December 1, Thanksgiving, late October
Autumn Equinox, and I've enjoyed at least one really delicious cup of hot chocolate. What more could I ask for? Once the children are home from school, we've sent out packages to family, and Geoff's announced he has days off... well! nothing could be finer!
Melancholy? Blue? Yes, sometimes. Sometimes I get entangled in those notions about what could be done, or should
be done. And my own health has been an obstacle too... so that some days I felt defeated, like the activities and plans I longed for were far out of reach. When we lost dear pets, when rain came through the roof and into our living room, when I let one more year go by without sending out Christmas cards... those moments were not the best. I do have a list... a list of wishes, and hopes, fantasies about the kind of person I wish I were... the fit and fabulous-marvelous-domestic-wonder-woman-decorator-magician with a lilting voice, and impeccable grammar, who's had her flu shots, alphabetized all the paperwork, and made pajamas for her children, and their cousins. Oh, that horrible, wonderful person.
For all our sakes, mine especially, I banned her. Early in December, I crossed her off my list, and opened the door to our imperfect, lovelier reality.
Our Christmas was just right, warm, cozy, silly, traditional in our unconventional way. It was picture perfect, in a soft focus. Geoff had days off and we shared activities and preparations, and that was loads of fun. The children have found their interests, and ways of sharing in the happy frenzy. It's so nice, they make no demands, and everything is figured out, managed, enjoyed, or left aside for another day. I want them to know, to remember, that their generosity, their gentle kindness has made life with them an easy pleasure.
Santa's little helper?
Chango wanted to help, too.
Maria figured out the Santa truth, and that year was bittersweet, but she still embraces the wonder, the magic. She still has faith. And even though I know truths too, I delight in the joys we can create for each other. I still have faith. Nurturing and protecting happiness is a gift of Christmas I very much enjoy. It does not have to be perfect, it does not have to be A-Z complete... it's best when we are together, and the rest are just amazing, lovely extras.
About her: the fit and fabulous-marvelous-domestic-wonder-woman-decorator-magician with a lilting voice, and impeccable grammar, who's had her flu shots, alphabetized all the paperwork, and made pajamas for her children, and their cousins.'
What is her name? I find it helpful to name my neuroses. Let's tawk!
This all sounds just perfect to me, except for the part about your health. I wish you a New Year filled with all the glorious joys and beautiful imperfections you wrote about, and better health, too. You are a gift!
I love this post -- every single thing about it. I have that yearly struggle, the nagging desire for "just right," with the definitions of that implanted by, well, I'm not exactly sure whom. I have to keep reminding myself that what my family wants from me at Christmas is me -- the happy, fun, "isn't this all wonderful?!" me, and not the stressed out "why isn't everything perfect?!" me. We did what we wanted to do, what we had time to do, what we enjoyed doing, and it wasn't "everything." It was just enough. Hurray for that, for being who we are, and for Christmas music for months on end....
I think the fit and fabulous wonder woman is a myth. Your Christmas looks perfect.
OK I must confess, it's good for the soul- right? I am totally in love with your barn and cast animals on your tabletop. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Sounds like your family Christmas was just right - and that wonderful phrase 'family Christmas' really doesn't depend on everything being done in readiness! Our daughter was away skiing this year, our boys came home for a couple of days, I cooked and we walked the dogs - lots. It's different from when they were all little ones, but I still feel the magic. It was a lovely family Christmas and I hope you and we all keep happy & healthy for the New Year.
Such a wonderful post. Wishing you a perfectly imperfect 2013.
Just wish I had half your energy, creativity, patience and goodness, Natalie. You do need excellent health in 2013 and that's what I wish for you. Axxx
We may need a few names.
I think your system is marvelous!
Miriam, thank you.
I am thankful to know wonderful people, like you,
and happy to accept all the kindness and good wishes.
Happy new year, dear friend.
Love, and joy, to you and yours!
Happy New Year!
Just (hugs) because you know me so well.
I love you, Jennifer.
The myth... that never dies! I just have to remember to take some inspiration from her, and otherwise tell her to _zip it!_
Christmas was perfectly fitting, for us... and that's awesome!
One of those happy-can't-believe-my-luck finds.
It was at a gift store at a farm and pumpkin patch.
Not only is it solid and charming, but it was very reasonably priced. Still pinching myself.
Happy New Year, Laura, and all things good for your soul!
It's such a blessing to focus on what's before us, and let go of the rest. It sounds as though you managed quite nicely... marvelous! Love the magic! Thank you for the good wishes, and I hope more magic is in store for you.
Thank you, Jenny.
Warm ((hugs)) and just-right wishes to you and yours!
Annie, your wish for me is a kindness and sentiment I accept with open arms. 'Half my energy' wouldn't get you through those beautiful hikes I know you take! Thank you for thinking so highly of me... it feels like warm sun, cheering and good.
I wish you all good things, this year, and beyond.
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