So it’s the Christmas Season or at least according to the calendar it’s supposed to be. But the past couple days it’s been more like Spring outside on the homestead instead of winter. It doesn’t look and feel like early December. The grass is green, the huge flocks of birds are still hanging out in our trees, and our domesticated free-range friends are out grazing again instead of camped out in the barn. The ground is pretty soft and there’s mud as far as the eye can see. The zoo has sprung back to life quickly in the last week or so. With the temps headed up towards the 60’s the dogs are outside working, playing and running around all day. A couple of them decided to enjoy the weather and take off on a road trip to who knows where on their own for way too many hours without checking in. They need talked to about having their curfew moved up because leaving at 5:30am and returning after I’ve fallen asleep for the night does not make this dog mamma happy or help with her anxieties. Preventing the wild pack from tracking the muck and mud inside our house with this weather has turned into a routine we usually only practice during March. We are back to wiping down 4-6 dogs every night which means 16-24 mud caked paws that need thorough attention, lots of filthy towels and rugs for the never ending dirty laundry pile and I’m picking off briers and cockleburs that are stuck like glue to literally everything they can embed themselves into.
Christmas is still a little ways away…but than again it really isn’t. I’m not a big fanatic of Christmas and all that comes with it to be frank. I’m not overjoyed and bursting at the seams with this magical Christmas Spirit
some most people talk about during this month. I’m not consumed by some cheerful, warm and fuzzy holiday feeling anxiously counting down to ugly sweater parties and office luncheons. When you have a mind that never seems to shut off or be silent it’s difficult to find peace some days but especially around the holidays. My normal therapeutic drive to Babylon now consists of me flipping repeatedly between the presets for the radio pleading to find something that isn’t trying to convince me this IS the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
I really enjoyed Christmas as a kid, but not so much at this point in my adult life. I don’t mind all the food and treats that come along with the holidays but the stress and chaos that usually ensues with the rest of the festivities I can do without. I don’t object entirely to small little get-togethers with family and friends but to be honest in the last few years even they have felt different with everyone glued to their cellphones a majority of the time.
A few years ago during the holidays I was sitting in a room with a rather large number of people desperately wishing just one person would sit down and have a REAL face to face, heart to heart conversation with me. This holiday meal was during the dark place of my life and most of that time period is a complete blur but I do remember the voices in my head screaming and seeing myself standing on the brink of the unknown with an atrocious sized hole in my heart due to a chain of events that had transpired rather rapidly and unexpectedly in the months leading up to that Christmas. I felt completely lost and alone and utterly depressed for the first time in my life. I was surrounded by people, yet not one single person noticed that my soul was tethering on the edge of a serious breakdown during those few hours we were together. Face to face, real life, heartfelt conversations are almost non-existent in today’s society and when you can take the easy out that requires little to no effort and can catch up with everyone’s “lives” on social media all year round why should people stop to actually converse? That day all I really wanted was an honest “How are you? No, seriously, how are you really?”. I longed for someone to take my hand, look me in the eye and tell me I was going to be okay while extending a sincere hug, and an offering of prayer.
It’s so easy in this day and age to forget the little things that some days are ALL that matter and are desired, especially in this busy, stressful, commercialized, selfish world. I am not perfect, so far far far from it. I am guilty of all this so very often myself. I have been the person who’s too busy on her phone, the person distracted while dealing with her own little to-do lists and daily obstacles in life, the one who is just being down right selfish and doesn’t want to stop to just tell someone they matter to me. I have missed out on many occasions and opportunities that were presented right before me that could have helped someone or possibly shined a little light in someone’s day or life…if just for a few precious moments. I wish Christmas and the holidays were less about presents, commercialism, and the latest gadgets and more about good food, REAL conversations, and the little sparkles we can cast unexpectedly in someone’s life.
The anxiety ridden, well practiced, procrastinating part of my personality loathes this time of year as well. I’m dreading the shopping and huge crowds and can’t even let my mind go to that task at hand yet. I haven’t attempted to do any type of Christmas present shopping either. Heck, I haven’t even made a list.
I had a run in with a complete stranger dressed in a Santa suit that scared the living daylights out of me at Wal-Mart over the weekend. Apparently humans dressed up as Christmas characters now cause me to transform into a blithering idiot. The poor gentleman in the Santa suit simply said hello but my normal weird self had my head down in fear of making eye contact with anyone so I didn’t see him in advance. I jumped a mile in the air, dropped my purse on the floor and crashed into a display of toilet paper before high-tailing it in the opposite direction like I was being chased down by a mugger. I’m sure Santa had a good chuckle but I didn’t stick around to hear it, nor did I go back that way when I headed to the check-out line. Good Lord, why do I have to be such a freak some days?
When the kids were little I would take an afternoon off work to decorate the house and drag out the tree and ornaments before they made it home from school. We would spend the evening dancing to the Mariah Carey Christmas album while they adorned our fake little tree with homemade ornaments and keepsakes from over the years. We indulged ourselves all month long on cookies, sweets and mugs over flowing with hot cocoa and marshmallows. We would go sledding at my folks, sing Christmas carols in the car and wrap presents together on the living room floor. A visit to Santa’s house on the town square was never forgotten. I used to be able to get most of my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving even hit. We have froze our rears off ringing the bell for the Salvation Army kettle and built very interesting snowmen in the past.
Even though I’m not big on this season now and the kids are not around as much, I do still put forth some type of effort and make my best attempt at the “normal” that society implies we are supposed to be doing during the holidays. I don’t want to be the wife and mother who didn’t “do” Christmas in our house like that one extreme circumstance again.
My Christmas holiday decorating routine has no resemblance to the days when the kids were younger. If we are lucky most years I have the house & tree looking festive some where closer to Christmas Eve. I always have really, really great intentions swirling around in my head during November when it comes to gift ideas, holiday baking and decorating the homestead for Christmas. However being a professional procrastinator now it never actually pans out like I swear it’s going to EVERY year for the last several years. The voices in my head actually laugh while I’m making these mental promises to myself. I did really good for like a
day few hours during the recent Thanksgiving weekend. We picked out our tree at the neighbor’s and staged it in the corner of the living room before lugging up countless boxes and tubs full of decorations from the basement that I proceeded to open and scatter all over every available space in the kitchen. The only reason any decorations made it upstairs early this year was strictly me putting off the enormous responsibility of highly important book work for our end of the year taxes that I had been doing my best to ignore for eight months.
I like to spread my procrastination around to all areas of my life just to make it more
interesting painful for everyone around me.
I told Tom my goal was to have the disaster completely cleaned up and house fully decorated in a week’s time. He tried not to laugh or make a face while hearing these words. That was eleven days ago and we are still maneuvering around a huge mess. Last night while looking through videos of little Rebel catching a tennis ball Tom pointed out it looked like hoarders lived in our house. Yeah, yeah….
I’m working on it procrastinating. I did get a few areas of the house semi-decorated and one corner of the living room is basically done after I threw about 15 ornaments on one side of the tree. The rest will get dealt with at some point….hopefully before we have Christmas at the house.
Normally by this time of year I’m already full steam headed down a seasonal road of Winter blues and despair. This holiday season has felt dreadful for the last several years. The unusual Spring time weather has helped keep that at bay. This year I can see and feel another step towards my soul refining, healing process. It no longer terrifies me like it once did. I’m no longer absent of hope and haunted daily by deep painful hurts. I
may have do have procrastinating issues and I know I’m still a total wreck and walking disaster most days but I’m okay with that. I may be running from Santa in Wal-mart but I’m no longer wasting precious time trying to run back to the old me that existed before the dark time in my life that changed certain aspects of me forever. The crazy lady that didn’t put forth ANY effort one Christmas in our house didn’t step off the ledge after all and I owe it all to a baby born to a virgin in one of the most humble settings.
I’m okay with the fact I’m not filled with the Christmas spirit because I know Jesus and knowing Jesus means God’s Spirit is in me instead. That’s the only type of peace I long for. There’s rest and solace in knowing that Jesus The Prince of Peace, and Lord of Lords walked the same earth as I.
Most people think Jesus is the reason for this season but to me He’s the reason for every season come Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. An entire year filled with generosity, faith, goodwill, peace, and praising of God is what the Lord wants out of us not a temporary, seasonal adjustment.
Even though it’s the dreaded holiday season I can’t wait for another day in December tomorrow.