Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Warming up for the holidays

Hanging lights in 60+ degree weather
Unlike my macabre zeal for Halloween, my anticipation of yule tide festivities is usually a bit on the anxiety-ridden side of the tracks. My unintentional traditions have been; to be Grinchy when the stores put out their red and green wares in early November, to put off trimming the tree till around mid month, and to get a lump in my throat at the sound of a carol.  Add to that a skimpy Christmas budget and a generous helping of procrastination and you have a recipe for holiday disaster.

If I rummage around in my closet of childhood Christmas memories, I have faint recollections of stressed-out and penny-poor parents who struggled to provide gifts for six children.  I feel the echos of disappointment and traces of sorrow for which I have no explanation.  I am teased by guilt as as all around me holiday revelers are decking halls and being jolly.

After all of the pain and sorrow our family has experienced over the last three years, I have decided that enough is enough.  There is every reason for me to celebrate this year, I just need to figure out how to reprogram my brain.  If I would just immerse myself in the holiday, I decided, maybe the sad feelings would be replaced by busyness, and eventually, joyfulness.  It ain't therapy, but it probably couldn't hurt.  Plus, it's a lot cheaper.

Then I was visited by an early elf.  Joanna (who is indeed, the size of an elf) showed up at my door last week with a huge bin and said, "This is your Christmas present!"  Inside there was a lovely box with carefully made Christmas envelopes, each with a corresponding note.  Some instructed us to make and decorate cookies, read stories, and watch Christmas movies.  Others had us doing acts of service, going out to see the lights, or making special ornaments.  The bin contained candy canes, books, coloring pages, cocoa mixes, cookie makings, and much, much more.  The 12 days of Christmas, including all of the ingredients and holiday magic to make them possible, were lovingly tucked into the tote. 

I love inspired friends.  How she knew this is what I would need to help me tackle my humbug, only Santa knows, but she did, and I am so grateful.  The kids are having such a ball with the whole thing.  They take turns opening the envelopes, and are so thrilled with each activity.  It's like she gave me my family for Christmas.  Joy (and a good helping of sugar) in a box.

We even got our tree early (early for us, that is) so we are officially (trying to be) in the Christmas spirit!

If you are in need of some help getting into the holiday spirit, look here (and even if you are all Kringled out, you will still get a thrill. 'Wish I had been there for lunch that day!).

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