“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend." - Sarah Ban Breathnach

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More Like a Thud than a Crash

Let's call it the year of learning about Christmas. Let's call it trial and error and error and error. Let's promise ourselves that next year will be better ... and we'll keep this post in cyberspace for reference to make sure that happens.

In review: Parade -- not necessary, certainly not worth it. It lasted way too long and my kids only enjoyed the floats that were throwing candy. Selfishness at the beginning of Christmas is not the way to start out.

Decorating -- worth it. Especially when I let the kids take over. For the first time, I didn't fuss too much over where the snow village would be or where to make our little Santa's village. And the kids easily did as well as I would have.

Church Christmas party -- worth it! It was short and simple and delicious with a true Christmas spirit about it.

Kids' Christmas choir concert -- I think I'll let Rom do this one next time. The girls did a great job, but the choir director is crazy! It was way too long -- over an hour and a half -- and it was on backless benches. It killed me.

Cookies -- all right. This is a tough one! This tradition is beloved by everyone who gets our fabulous Christmas cookies. My family loves the look on their faces when we show up at the door. The only problem? I was the little red hen this year -- "Who wants to help bake the cookies?" "Not I" said the children in unison. I did too much of the work. Next year, I can start in November and freeze cookies, and I can give the children better assignments. I don't want to have to sit out the fun part of delivering next time because I'm too wiped out.

Tree -- I threatened to buy a fake tree next year. This was very disappointing to me. I need to find a way to start the outing off on the right foot. If I can't do that, Rom and I will get it ourselves next year.

Children's Christmas program -- worth it! But only if it isn't sandwiched between other activities. Then I'll have to let Rom handle it.

Nightly Christmas stories -- worth it, but we may need to expand our selection. The kids are getting bored with the same ones every year.

Caroling -- this was a new one. It's not a tradition, so it can go, if I'm not up to it. I love the smiles on people's faces, though, when we show up. We'll see.

And through it all, I need to focus on the simple symbols of Christmas that bring joy to my heart and remind me what this is all about. I lost that this year, and I don't want it to happen again.