Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bah, Humbug?

Here we are, all up in the 12 days of Christmas, and my house is not decorated (save for the wreath on the front door, which, up until Monday, was flanked by pumpkins and dead mums). Time has not been on my side this holiday season. That, and I'm just kinda tired.

It started with Thanksgiving--a time when I usually decorate as much as Christmas and really put on the dog. I love setting a festive table and having friends and family gathered 'round. Larry asked me about our Thanksgiving plans about a week before the big day. Jokingly, I laughed and said I was waiting for someone to invite us over. As the words came out of my mouth, I realized that was a really good idea, and I was going to hold out for an invite. Each day, Larry asked me again--did we want turkey? Pork loin? And yet, not a grocery shopping list in sight. I just wanted to get dressed and go somewhere else. And wouldn't you know, my dad came through! He called saying he had a ham in the freezer, and could make a green bean casserole and dressing. Instead of hauling all that food to my house, I suggested, how about we just go to their house? It was a plan! And we had a wonderful, relaxing, low pressure evening enjoying a great dinner and conversation. Perfect.

Now on to Christmas. Could it happen again?

Yep! My sister in Nashville decided that it would be fun to have everyone come up to their house. So that's what we're doing!

But once that decision was made, my desire to decorate diminished. Each day I think it might be THE day, but then writing deadlines and other work commitments get in the way. And it's been cooooold, which makes digging in the garage for Christmas decorations less than appealing.

And there are even more excuses...a five-day trip to New York last week...a couple of days of feeling under the weather...lack of discretionary's enough to make me feel a little Scrooge-like.

Yet, I've once again had the pleasure of enjoying other's holiday decorating efforts. Monday, I went to my neighborhood's garden club Christmas meeting at Betty Foster's house, which was decorated absolutely beautifully. We sipped on eggnog and wassail as we played dirty Santa with garden-themed gifts. That night, it was my book club's Christmas soiree at the home of Diane Lisenbe, who decked her halls with festive decorations. I just soaked it all in...then went home to my wreath.

Neighbors have commented that they've noticed my lack of decorations--I usually go a little over the top with lights, bows, garland and such. It was something I started years ago because I wanted to make our home feel like a special place for Larry--who was separated from his family in Venezuela and who works so hard during the holidays helping others celebrate the season. And I wanted to make our home feel special for our children, imprinting strong holiday memories in their brains.

When Nicole was in Methodist Rehab, she had an overnight pass for Christmas, so it was important to have our home decorated for her return, and for our annual Christmas Eve open house. So many people wanted to come see her, and rejoice in her miraculous recovery. But now she's in her own place, and as a part of moving her in and feathering her new nest, I put up her purple (of course!) Christmas tree, decorating it with all her special ornaments, as well as decorating her mantle, stringing colored lights on her front porch and hanging a wreath on her front door.

Joe spends most of his time at the home of his girlfriend, Emily. He's helped her parents decorated their home for Christmas, so he gets to enjoy that.

We still have a week left before heading to Music City for the holidays. Do I drag all the decorations out for Larry and I? We are forgoing the open house this year. We have busy schedules up until we leave. And if I decorate now, I'll just have to put it all up when we get back. (Sounds like I'm talking myself out of it, huh?)

So this year things will be a bit different. I believe I'm going to shift my focus to the real reason for the season, which often gets sidelined. Instead of spending hours decorating, I think I'll be still and read the Christmas story. One of history's most profound events was not surrounded with garland, lights and tinsel. Instead, it was in a humble stable, illuminated only by a star shining bright in the night sky.

Will I feel sad not having a decorated home for the holidays? I really don't think so. There are enough festive decorations all around to fill my need for the holidays. I will take that stress off myself, and focus more on family, friends and faith, and in doing so, my heart will be full.

Ten days left before Christmas...and I'm not feeling any pressure at all! Merry Christmas!

Blessings to all who read this!

1 comment:

  1. Read each paragraph presents a great lesson about life and love, god bless, we love you
    Gabriela y TiTo