Saturday, December 14, 2013
So Advent isn't working out the way I thought it would. Does it ever? I planned on having all of my shopping done and gifts shipped to faraway family by the first of the month. I still have well over half of it left to do and just 10 days til Christmas. I told a friend, "This year, we have bowed out of a lot of our normal activities. This year it will be simpler. This year I will finish early and enjoy Advent!" Last weekend I planned to tackle stocking stuffers...and stayed in with sick kids instead. This weekend, then, I thought. Still sick, and a good half foot of snow dumped on us for good measure.
We are about half decorated for Christmas. Half decorations, half crazy clutter everywhere. I'm trying not to notice and see the other things instead. The Advent wreath that we've not lit every night, but we've definitely done more frequently than in past years. The A-B-C letters on my fridge spelling out "I LOVE CHRISTMAS!" in all caps, my kid's joy spelled out in rainbow colors.
This afternoon, while the snow just kept on coming, my baby on my back and my toddler by my side, I made chicken pot pie for dinner. Out of the window I watched my brother pull his daughter and mine around on a sled out back. He came in to grab my camera (and I threatened him with bodily harm should he break it) and snap a few pictures of our little girls out enjoying the snow. Peter found my stash of canning rings and slipped them on his arms like bracelets and clanked around the kitchen. The baby screeched happy in the carrier and pulled my hair. Some of the kids - still not feeling so hot -watched a movie while Dad cleared the walks and I made a mental freeze-frame of this moment in time. Our imperfect Christmas. A small house, a half dozen sick kids, a Mom who may not get it all done by Christmas Eve and who has not wrapped a single present (for lack of tape! TAPE!). One man clearing the walks while another drags babies around in sleds. This is what life looks like. The laundry machine thrums along down in the basement and I fold warm towels on the dining room table, shoving that Advent wreath to the side.
Real life and real Christmas go hand-in-hand. Dinah sets up the Nativity and Peter gently places a matchbox car just there, witnessing it all.
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