Baby, it's not so cold outside, and only a lot full of faux-snow flocked Christmas trees, lights on houses, and our miserable sore throats clue me in... it's almost Christmas! It's not that I am Scroogy, Grinchy, or cynical, it's just that sometimes the holidays, the spirited joy, and decorating fervor, elude me. Some years I wish I could hit a pause button, give our taxed systems a moment to catch up with the dates on the calendar, find the gift tags we stowed safely away, and come to terms with some basic truths...
1. Pinning beautiful crafts, and snow covered cabins on Pinterest will not translate into a decorated home, and clean floors.
2. Beautiful rain, welcome and good, also brings mud, sad goats, heap loads of clean-up.
3. The sofa is broken. Not broken-in, cozy. Just broken.
4. The cats are never going to toilet train themselves.
We do have a Christmas tree. And after three days, we even put lights on it. No one ever need tell us, "Take it easy! What's your hurry?" And this year, for the first time since 2004, I bought, signed, addressed, stamped, and mailed holiday cards. My feeling of accomplishment, of old-timey traditional social engagement, is off the charts, and only matched by my feeling of dorkiness, and being painfully aware that this achievement is not that great, that a lot of it was actually slightly botched, and a bit too old-timey. Does anyone remember when Christmas cards were of glitter trees, manger scenes, or mice drinking cocoa, and they were simply dated, and signed? Some people included a personal note? I forgot that this is 2014... and
We don't have a family picture, all of us looking in the same direction, an in-focus portrait. And as I signed our cards, I reasoned that it's fine. It's more than fine, because
Also, at 2:30 this morning my brain woke me up to inform me that I did not spell Aunt Margie and Uncle Howard's surname correctly. That I left out the T.
Thanks, brain. For waking me, and giving me one more basic truth... I cannot catch all of my mistakes in time to fix them, but I will always have the predawn hours to be tormented by them.