Friday, December 12, 2014

Paved with good intentions.

I love Christmas.

I'm the dork blaring the Christmas Music at the stoplight on November 2nd.

I'm the one that walks around Hobby Lobby in October wistfully dreaming of snow as I walk up and down the aisles of ribbon and greenery.

I'm the one in Toys-R-Us filling the shopping cart in September (OK, August) for my Christmas Present layaway.

I love it.

I love the tree, the nativity, the garlands, the stockings, the cookies, the advent calenders, the tree lightings, the cards, the parades, the centerpieces, the wreaths, the lights, the snow, the ornaments, the specials, the parties, the food, the wrapping, the Nutcracker Ballet...

But I'm sorry. I have to stop.

I'm tapping out.

I want to do the Random Acts of Kindness calendar, Shepard's Pouches, and yes... even though it's kinda-sorta creepy and we don't do Santa..... I do want to do Elf on the Shelf, but I'd end up doing Wandering Wisemen.

But I can't.

Because it's going to. kill. me.

Well, maybe not kill me. No, I'll most likely live to see the new year in... But it's going to kill my soul. The joy that comes with this special time of year.

You know, that joy our children have when they see a 40 foot Christmas tree light up for the first time that season. Or when they find the perfect tree at the tree farm and pull it out of the forest all on their own. Or when they decorate sugar cookies and "sneak" a few M&Ms between each plop of icing.

They're happy little balls of joy.

And why? Is it the daily advent calendar with it's family activity and/or goodie? Is it the checking off of to-do lists? Is it the shopping on top of the shopping you've already done for things nobody needs?

Nope. It's because they DON'T do any of that stuff. They just coast along enjoying whatever comes their way. Dreaming of goodies and toys and fun.

Now, are any of of these Pinterest-y/ Facebook-y activities bad? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

If you want to do it, go nutty! Be a Super-Pinterest-Woman. Make that garland! Do your advent calendar! Bake 4 dozen of 12 different cookies!  Do a whole darn gingerbread village! Host a both a family AND friend party... on the same weekend! I've had years like that!

This year, not so much apparently.

This year I've felt the call to slow down. To be present with both my husband and child. To meet their needs (not what I feel they should have, based on glossy magazine covers designed by a team of stylists) when all they really need is me. Sane, relaxed, and providing a peaceful place to be.... and homemade hot chocolate with marshmallows.

I'm not saying we're having PB&J's for Christmas dinner. I'm saying it's gonna be a pre-prepped, shove in the oven, two crockpots running kind of Christmas. It's gonna be a popsicle stick ornament kind of Christmas. It's gonna be use what we already have for decorations kind of Christmas. It's gonna be going under budget kind of Christmas. It's gonna be less doing and more being. And that's OK.

Although my intentions of what Christmas should be is a bit more polished and perfect... It's not what it will be. It's messy and imperfect... and mine. And exactly the way God wanted it to be.

My intentions my be good, but getting to that perfect Southern Living look sure can be hell. On everyone.

credit: Ann VosKamp