Does someone ask you every day, "soooo, are you all ready for Christmas?"
And when they do, do you have to fight the urge to slap them?
Or is that just me?
Maybe it's because I am not ready.
And I probably won't be--not even on Christmas morning.
My Christmas hopes and dreams list grows shorter, just as William's red and green paper chain grows shorter.
Not because I am checking things off that I've done.
No, I'm checking things off that I don't have enough time to do.
Or that I'm too tired to do.
Tired because I have a little boy who's second tooth is coming in, hasn't pooped in 3 days and has his first cold.
It's the perfect storm.
He's not really that fussy. Like crying fussy.
He just wakes up a lot at night and wants to nurse.
That's why I'm up at 1 AM writing things that will probably make no sense tomorrow.
Even though I got like 3 hours of sleep last night.
I know this time will pass.
And the good.
And that's why I got all teary eyed when we were decorating the tree.
After their crazy excitement wore off a bit, and I was able to trust them with breakable treasures, these 3 were able to decorate the whole tree by themselves.
Of course it was a mess, but I didn't really care.
I just sat on the floor handing them ornaments, loving how excited they were by each one and the memories their ornaments already hold for them, "oh! It's my Donald Duck ornament!" "Look this one has my name! It's my Hello Kitty!"
I looked up at them and wiped away tears, knowing they'll be grownups in the blink of an eye.
After we decorated the tree, we turned off the lights like always.
And as we admired our tree, we sang every Christmas carol we knew.
It was spontaneous and so much fun.
A new memory made.
A new tradition started.
I keep that thought in mind as I feel myself get stressed that I still haven't done Christmas baking, or gotten all the gifts taken care of, or let another year go by without sending Christmas cards.
Those things are fun, and nice and great even.
But at the end of my days, will I care that I didn't get that batch of homemade cookies in? (but if you find the time, make these--they are amazing--see how messed up I am?)
I doubt it.
Instead I am just loving these moments of busy days and busy nights, of the simple pleasures of celebrating Christmas with my babies.
Right now, we are loving that it's time to use our Christmas cups.
For cocoa with marshmallows and whip cream.
We are loving our kids on stage at church. (James on right in white shirt and tie)
We are loving the Christmas story.
And I am loving the little hands that wait all year for this nativity set.
We are loving each other.
Leaving notes on the bathroom mirror (this one, from James, says, "I love Mom") and cleaning bedrooms and sweeping the kitchen without being asked.
Do they ever know the way to Mommy's heart?
And even though my notebook is full of ideas for new posts, I am taking a little break.
I itch to write, but there just aren't that many days until Christmas.
I want to live it up!
There are ballets to attend, Christmas light walks to take, trips to see Santa and maybe even some cookies to bake.
But mostly, there are only a few nights left for one of my favorite parts of Christmas.
Every night, before I go to bed, I turn off all the lights except for the tree.
It's quiet and bright and merry and melancholy all at the same time.
Christmas time, and all the good things it entails, means more to me each year.
I often think that things might have been different this year--and not in a good way-- I am so very grateful for the way they are.
Grateful that "Our First Christmas" ornament is still on the tree (even though it's terribly ugly) and that this year there will be another "Baby's First Christmas" ornament added to the other 3.
There is much joy in my heart.
"And the angel said unto them, fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
Luke 2: 10-11
It is because of Christ the Lord that I sit here tonight, nursing this baby by the light of a Christmas tree.
It is because of the Christmas story.
The story of redemption and hope, sent to earth as a little baby.
Thankfully, God can do the impossible.
Merry Christmas, friends.