Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Little Like Christmas

Holy crap! It's December 1st. How did that happen?

Every year, at different points in the year, I have a dream that it is the week before Christmas or even Christmas Eve, and I haven't decorated or gotten presents for someone (like my parents) or something of the like. I wake up in a panic, only to realize that it is only May.

Except now, it really is December. I know that Thanksgiving is always the fourth Thursday in November, but it seemed late to me this year. Here it is December 1st, and I'm still gorging on turkey and stuffing (and trying not to think that my pants may not fit on Monday morning). I host Thanksgiving dinner, so for the past week or two, I have been tunnel-vision focused on that. I did start some shopping last week, but really only because there were some sales and coupons that would expire before Thanksgiving. I have a "No Christmas until after Thanksgiving policy" for the most part.

I was also doggedly determined to finish (or "win" as it is called) National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. It did not seem so bad at the beginning. I was consistently a day or two ahead of schedule. Until last week, when I got totally engrossed in T-day preparations. I got to the point where I was on day 27 with 46,000 words and not sure if I'd be able to hit the 50 K mark. I hunkered down and hit 50,050 on Friday night, which was one day ahead of schedule. While I am pleased with completing that task, it added a pressure that I don't think I really needed. I write to relieve stress and make me feel better. If I had a contract and a deadline, it would be a different story. But for right now, it is recreation (although I wish it could be my full-time job).

So that brings me to December 1. The day was spent still visiting with family in town for the holidays. I did at some point realize that my children will want to wear pants to school tomorrow, so I had to squeeze in a bit of laundry as well. I had to clean up Thanksgiving so I could start Christmas. About two or three weeks ago, it was about 65 degrees on a Saturday. I considered putting up my lights (not plugging them in of course). Instead, I took a nap. So today, in the 30 degree weather, I put up my lights. Mental note to self: naps are overrated and can be done when it is cold out.

I started decorating in the house, but decided to do it one box at a time, rather than have the hubs bring all 600 boxes up and try to do it in one fell swoop. I got a little done and am pleased that the house is starting to look like Christmas-y. I am now allowing Christmas carols to be played as well (they were banned before this weekend).

Because of the presence of two annoying young felines, I have had to make the decision that some of my more valuable decorations will not go out this year. This includes the Manger set that was my grandmother's, and that I have been putting out for 15 years. However, when the kids were really little, we bought them the Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set so they could have that to play with (in hopes that they would leave mine alone--it worked). So today, in a stroke of brilliance (in my mind at least), I asked my daughter to set that up instead. This way, if the boys (the alias for the cats) get into it, it will be no big deal (the table where the Manger is set up is one that they like to sit on and look out the window. Putting something breakable/valuable there is just asking for it to be broken).

We looked at the calendar and have one free night this week. We will be putting the tree up then. I like to have my tree up for as long as possible. Ironically, as a child, my parents never put the tree up until a few days before Christmas, and it was all because of me. My birthday is December 18th. My parents did an excellent job of separating my birthday from the holiday, so the tree never went up until after my birthday (although the rest of the house was decorated). In my own house, I like the tree, so I put it up right after Thanksgiving.

Slowly but surely, it will get done. But I'm not concerned if it doesn't. Because the perfect lights or the wreath hung just so are not what matters. What matters is my son luring me under the mistletoe so I will kiss him. What matters is my daughter feeling so proud that she gets to set up the Manger and that she is contributing to the decorations. What matters is the night that we will all sit and watch 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' and laugh when Snoopy kisses Lucy. What matters is how my children will learn to give to others and that Christmas is about giving and doing, not receiving.

But bring on (a little) snow because in the Biel house, it's beginning to look a little like Christmas.

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