Down the street from where we live is a wonderfully decorated and festive house for the holidays. Every tree is adorned with lights, animated Christmas characters move cheerfully about and beautiful wreaths hang on every door. I hate it.
Being the Christmas lover that I am, you may find it surprising that I avoid driving by this house whenever possible. It’s not because our neighbors have put us to shame with their decorations. They have. It’s not because I don’t appreciate their effort. I do. I just don’t like the Christmas countdown clock that is prominently displayed front and center in their yard. I don’t need to be reminded that I only have so many more shopping days until Christmas. It also serves as a warning that I need to create and shop for our Christmas Eve dinner, send out my holiday cards, buy wrapping paper, bake cookies, order hostess gifts, mail presents to family that will not be here this year and clean the house for those that will be.
Two months ago I started a small freelance writing business. It’s going better than I expected and I am happily working. But I have yet to master the juggling technique in which everything pertaining to my family is done as it has been in the past: with semi-organization, a half smile on my face and some sleep under my belt. Today, I have five writing projects due, a son that can’t find his basketball jersey, a daughter who is wondering when I will ever order her senior pictures, a hot water heater on its last legs and an empty refrigerator with the exception of a jar of pickles, half a loaf of bread and some expired eggs. Also on the list: finding my Christmas spirit that is missing in action.
Because this is a season of miracles, I will get it together. Mothers always do. Presents will be bought and wrapped, Christmas Eve dinner will be served and we will laugh and wonder where the year went. We will think about the New Year and vow to be more organized and less busy. We will promise that next year we will savor the season, sing carols and enjoy this precious time with loved ones. But for right now, I need to find my son’s basketball jersey.