Seems like I just finished cleaning up the chaos of Thanksgiving and look, it’s already December 7th. I truly need someone to tell me what happened to the entire first week of December! No matter how much I want this month to slow down, time marches to the beat of its own drummer…and time is flying.
It was on my way home from work yesterday with the heat on in the car (thank you, cold front!), listening to Christmas carols on the JoyFM, hot decaf coffee in hand, when out of nowhere I realized we are less than 3 weeks from Christmas Day. It was at that moment that I first felt the inkling of the Christmas spirit and, honestly, I felt a little sad that it’s only beginning now.
When I was a stay-at-home mom, I was already into high gear by this point. I had hours every day to decorate the inside of the house and a lot of those decorations were proudly delivered to me via my children’s daily projects at school. They’d walk in with carefully cut out snowflakes, wooden nativities, homemade picture frames and garland for the tree that smelled of construction paper and glue. I’d rearrange to accomodate the new craft, make after school hot chocolate with whipped cream and have the house lit up and cozy by the time daddy came home…and I’m not even sure I knew how good I had it.
By the time I got home last night, it was dark outside and my house was pitch black. I plugged in the white lights that W hung on the roof this weekend and went inside to retrieve my dogs for a brisk walk. Not yet having had time to put up the Christmas tree or decorate the inside of the house, it seemed void of the spirit I had mustered on the car ride. I’ve been an empty nester for a couple of years now and there are moments when it is so fresh, I can barely hold back the tears. There were no anxious kids asking what time dinner would be ready or when their dad would be home; no kids watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and I felt downright sad.
Beginning the process of making dinner and setting the table for two, flipping on more Christmas music on the radio, lighting the candles on the dining room table and watching the dogs snuggle together on their favorite chair, it all started to come together and by the time W got home, the pitch black house had become a home again.
It’s December 7th and I am determined to savor the coming days. I am determined to remember what this season is about, which doesn’t have anything to do with ribbons and bows. I’m going to stop what I’m doing and take a deep breath so that I don’t suddenly wake up and realize it’s Christmas Eve and December has passed me by. I am blessed; this house will be full of chaos and laughter when Nick comes home later this week and again when Devon and Dan fly in. The tree will be up, the old decorations placed here and there and my family will be reunited under one roof for several, precious days. It IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas.