My mom did Christmas like nobody’s business. I’ll never forget staring into those pretty glass ball ornaments under the soft glow of the lights; breathing in the smell of pine; running around with my brother and sister to music; the hushed, quiet church at midnight Mass; baking with my mom. Every time I smell cinnamon I’m back in our old kitchen at Christmas. There were decorations all over the house and one year we even had a jigsaw puzzle of a Normal Rockwell painting set up by the tree. It was like something out of a really warm and fuzzy movie that you want to watch fifty times.
I want my kids to have Christmases like mine used to be. But there’s one teeny little thing standing in the way.
You have to plan. And organize. And carry out said plans. You know, executive function. My mom’s got it in spades, me-not so much. Somehow you wouldn’t think buying a wreath (which I’ve been meaning to do for several years) would be all that complicated, but you’ve got to figure out where to buy it. Then you’ve got to plan to go. And when you get there, you’ve got to remember that you need it. It’s usually this last step that gets me.
Somehow I can see our family Christmas being right out of a movie too-Christmas Vacation, in which Clark Griswold’s dreams of the perfect family holiday turn into one big (albeit hilarious) fuster cluck.
So I’ve decided that instead of getting hung up on the perfect experience, I’m starting small. So far I’ve even managed to do about two or three things on my Christmas to-do list (you’ve gotta start somewhere). Frodo is more interested in streaking across the house than he is with baking, and Elinor is totally blown away just by the lights on the Christmas tree.
Those lights has colours?!
So we’re doing ok so far with just a few decorations and a batch of Christmas cookies. But as they get older, I want to add more. I want it to be special for them, something they’ll always remember. And at the same time, I also want to take the time to meditate on the mind-blowing awesomeness that is God dwelling among us as a helpless newborn to poor unwed parents in a backwater province of the Roman Empire.
It might not be quite like it was when I was little. But it will be ours. And we’re gonna have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny f#!king Kaye.