Friday, November 20, 2009

On Leaving the "Merry" in Christmas

This morning, I bought Christmas pajamas for Ben & Abby, a gift we will give them Thanksgiving night as a festive inauguration to the season. I'm sure we will get the Christmas books out, too, so they can choose a couple to read before bed. As we walked to our destinations in the mall, Abby asked to stop and look at all the Christmas trees she saw. The ground of our yard and the woods behind our house are still covered in snow. And I keep dreaming about little white lights on the house and red and green accents throughout. It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas--in my heart, at least.

I don't know why I'm so excited this year. Perhaps it's because Ben remembers things from last year, so I know we've reached the age where tradition means something. Already, he's asking when we'll get to watch "the Grinch" movie. He's remembering our adventure to the Wild Life Experience last year when he (and, by default, I) was Auntie NetNet's guest of honor at her office Christmas party; there, he got to experience Whoville's magic on the IMAX screen, and his delight was absolute. He giggled and smiled and pointed out novelties from start to finish.

Perhaps it's because I'm much less concerned about making things "just right." I'm already considering paper plates for Christmas dinner as a way of simplifying the night and keeping it focused on the magic of being together. And I am determined to trim the tree this year without futzing over the perfect placement of each ornament in order to achieve a perfectly balanced visual masterpiece of red, gold, and whimsy (here, my husband laughs and says, "Yeah right," but I'll show him). I want the entire season, from Thanksgiving night to Christmas night, to mean something more than me stressing over making things "perfect."

Of greater importance is the invitation for Ben (and, as possible, Abby) to help with everything from the tree to the gift shopping to the cooking--and I want to enjoy the perfectly endearing "imperfection" their contribution brings. Josh is a master at accepting whatever degree of proficiency the kids have to offer; I generally try unsuccessfully.

But this year, I trust it will be different. Something in my present outlook decries stress and welcomes rest, resists perfectionism and accepts a bit of mess. I'm ready to dive into the Little People nativity set, read Christmas books until I can recite every one, listen to The Muppets Christmas as many times as the kids desire, and wonder over Santa's incredible speed and knowledge of chimney-less house entrances.

Today is Friday, and Friday is always a good day because it marks the start of our weekend with Josh. Tomorrow we will tend to our birthday parties and other everyday-life responsibilities. But tomorrow night, we will wait excitedly for my youngest sister and her boyfriend to arrive, and so the festivities will begin. Next week is a short week of work, a short week of school, and a long week of family and fun and celebration. And come Thursday, it will officially be Christmas-time.

I wonder if, given my new, relaxed attitude, my family will indulge my desire to decorate the tree next weekend?

Either way, I can't wait.

1 comment:

  1. I've been resisting the temptation to comment on some of your blogs and have so far been successful until now. There is NO way you are going to be able to handle a perfectly imperfect hanging of ornaments on your tree. I appreciate the desire to try and change and I will support you in this attempt but I am looking forward to the "I told you so" coming soon, lol.


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