Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Dreams

I must come clean: that isn't our current Christmas tree. Our current Christmas tree is still lying, hog-tied, on our front porch, waiting to be propped up and bedecked with lovely things. This tree is from 2 (or perhaps 3) years ago. I don't seem to have any pictures of our last two trees. And our trees don't look all that different from year to year, so I figured it's not cheating too much to post a pic of this one.

I am getting tired of all the things I have to do. Each day hurtles by in a blur of stress and obligation and with each one that passes I get more and more Scroogey, thinking of all the things I want to do that are being crowded out by the things I have to do. I want to spend hours baking cookies with the children in my warm, spicy-smelling kitchen with my sleeves rolled up and flour dusted across my nose. Instead I'm spending hours in my old, beat-up car, littered with fast-food wrappers, carting my children through horrendous traffic to and from basketball practices, choir rehearsals and festival concerts. I want to graciously adorn my home with ornaments and decorations collected throughout the years, lingering indulgently over each one and savoring the memories attached to them. Instead, I'm looking dejectedly at the still-unpacked boxes of ornaments sitting in the corner, waiting in vain for me to summon the motivation to first clear away all the papers, toys and piles of laundry cluttering up the living room. I want to spend an evening strolling through quaint shops with my husband, purchasing treasures for all our dear ones before tramping back home to wrap everything up in bright paper with pretty ribbons. Instead I'm buying things on the fly at Target, either alone, with two bored, whining children in tow, or during stolen snatches of time on the computer when I should be getting much-needed sleep, and stashing the gifts in numerous squirrel holes, leaving them to be wrapped in a last-minute, bleary-eyed frenzy on Christmas Eve. I want to bask in the soft candlelight glowing from our windows as we pull into our driveway each evening. Instead, I cringe as I drive up to the house as half of the windows don't even have candles in them yet. I want Christmas music, eggnog, strong, hot pots of tea, Christmas movies on tv and this:

I want a hearth with a roaring fire blazing in it. I want to sink gratefully into a squashy, comfy chair with a new magazine or crossword puzzle book and put my feet up in front of the fire. I want the crackle, the smell of woodsmoke, the gentle glow of the flames. I want a mantle complete with a clock and a box for The Viking's pipe and tobacco. I want to drive home and see the welcoming curl of smoke from the chimney beckoning on a cold night. And I want to walk inside and see this:

A boy and his dog, playing on the rug in front of the fire. What could be better, especially at Christmas?

Instead, I've had 2 concerts, 2 basketball games, 3 dress rehearsals, 2 Bible classes, one Mother-Daughter tea, a PTA meeting and a Christmas play, with more of the same this week only with the basketball team's spaghetti dinner, Man-Cub's class Christmas party (I'm a Room Mom) and cleaning for overnight guests thrown in. We've been so busy with all our obligations we haven't had time to eat properly or get to bed on time, let alone indulge in any of the happy Christmas traditions we usually enjoy. I have yet to bake a single cookie, wrap a single present or write a single Christmas card. I still have shopping to finish, a feast to plan, songs to rehearse, and, of course, my regular duties involving keeping my family clean, clothed and fed. And time is running out.

I know all the necessary things will get done. And anything that doesn't just isn't necessary. And I know most of this is my own fault. I set such high ideals for myself, dreaming of the perfect romantic, fantasy Christmas, that I can't possibly meet my own expectations and wind up feeling disappointed.

But I also know that disappointment will evaporate the minute my sister's car pulls into the driveway and I will be reminded, once more, of what really matters at Christmas. Being reunited with loved ones, spending time with family, catching up, laughing, playing, feasting, talking. Fire or no fire, cookies or no cookies, fluffy guest towels or none, we will all be together, we will be happy and it will be a very Merry Christmas.

So, I think I am going to have to close for the Holidays. I have too much going on to be distracted by this silly blog of mine, though I know I will miss it. I may find myself with an unexpected windfall of time and, if that be the case, I may pop in and say hello or post some photos or something. But in the event that doesn't happen, I would like to wish everyone a most Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Wishing you days that are merry and bright and heavenly, peaceful nights,
Happy Holidays!


Amongst The Oaks said...

Ah, you are too right about never having enough time. But also about what is important during this season; family, friends and fun!

Also I noticed that it gets easier as your children age because they can actually help with the decorating and laundry and shopping and wrapping.

But in the meantime, set your blog on the back burner and go have fun. Happy Christmas!

Cottage Magpie said...

That tree is lovely, whatever it's year! Thanks for stopping by the blog! I've got the last two pillows up now (the toile one, too), and they're going to be drawn in the morning, so if you haven't commented on the toile and you want to--now's the time! :-)

Either way, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a bountiful new year!
~Angela :-)

Anonymous said...

what a neat blog you have! i love your cottage stylin!
Merry Christmas!