Friday, November 21, 2008

Bah Humbug

I used to love Christmas. I loved it so much that fifteen years ago I got married at Christmas! I loved the lights and the music and the hustle and bustle and the food and the drink and the food and the drink and the fa la la la la la la la. . .but somewhere between there and here I got lost. Here I sit at 30-ish-something and I am wishing it was January. How wrong it that? Very wrong. Somehow in my mom-life the entire holiday season has become a never-ending chore list. Buy this, bake that (or buy this to make it look like I baked that). Go to festive parties with sassy-mouthed girls and a boy who feels compelled to put his grimy paws on every object lower than 36 inches. Keep everyone happy all the time! And don't forget matching! Everyone must match! (OK, that's my own neurosis, but a girl is entitled to one or two.) I want the joy back. I want the peace on earth. I want to not insert cuss words in the middle of fa la la la la la. I don't want my kids to remember Grumpy Mommy at Christmas. They are all destined for therapy anyway but maybe they can at least say, "Mama screwed me up somethin' BAD but Christmas shure was good!"

I have been thinking and stewing and praying and stewing and praying and stewing about this since Halloween. For me to get where I need to be this holiday season, I need to be specific and intentional. So here are my "Holiday Resolutions"

1. I am going to venture into the store I really really dislike~Family Christian Stores~and find a new advent devotional. Then I will order it from Amazon. :-)

2. I am not going to second guess my shopping. When I find a gift for someone, it is done. No rehashing to make sure it's perfect, "fair" to others on my list, wondering incessantly if they will like it, ect. I will follow lists and suggestions but I will not drive myself nuts.

3. I will let my kids be kids. Yes, they will need to follow the rules and not play football with Nana's pretties or Grandma's 785 teeny weeny ceramic things but they are kids. At least at Christmas, they need to play with their cousins and have fun.

4. I will watch "Elf" and "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" at least 3 times each.

5. I will not try to be Paula Deen because no one really likes my cooking anyway. I will only cook elaborate dishes for myself or for fun. When asked to bring an appetizer, I will bring something I have made before and that is easy, cheap, and quick. I don't need to search everything the Neelys have ever made to find the "perfect" recipe. It doesn't exist.

6. I will try ONCE to get a Christmas card photo. If I can't get it in one afternoon, I will reuse the same one from last year. Only Wyatt has really changed anyway.

7. I will Christmas shop with my BFF late on weeknights. The mall is open til 10:00pm and Chili's in open til 11:00.

8. I will burn CDs of Christmas music I actually like instead of listening to the same 8 songs over and over on 93.9. While I'm at it, I will make a peaceful worshipful, CD and some fun ones too.

9. I will bake for the neighbors and invite them all to church. Again. Maybe the holiday season will make the "no thanks" turn into a "we'd love to."

So there is my concrete plan to reclaim the holiday joy for myself! Fa lalalalalalala. . . .


Ann(ie) said...

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a MUST!! I love me that flick. And I hear ya on how overwhelming this time of the year gets. My hubby's bday is 12/15 and my munchkin's is 12/17. feh. Currently I'm still firmly planted in denial!!! ;) Until at least 12/1.

Mommy Brain said...

I am amazed at what I learn about you through your writing. You should do this more often, you show a softer, more introspective side when you put your fingers on the keyboard...makes you so complex. So interesting.

I love the resolutions...and I totally agree with the loss of the sense of "fun" and "awe" that used to fill the Christmas season. I really am challenged by your resolution to bake for your neighbors and invite them to church...I think that should be on my list too. Thanks Jen!

i am not said...

I love this, too. Good thoughts.

i'm going to post on this sometime soon, too.

Just watched the Neelys for the first time the other night. Jury is still out. And we watched Paula Deen's thanksgiving and drooled and resolved to host a proper, fully Southern thanksgiving in a couple of years when we can afford it. Mmmm. apple butter pumpkin pie.

I like your idea of baking for the neighbors - maybe we will do that. I love to bake, but I don't want to eat it and I don't have anything to bake for... this sounds like a good idea, though. If I could get the guts up to go door to door that is.

i am not said...

So I was thinking about the baking for the neighbors thing... tell me more. How many things do you bake? How do you present it to them - on a plate with saran wrap or do you put them in a pretty box or what? Where do you get the packages? Do you write a note and leave it at their door if they're not home or do you try again at another time. Do your girls go with you? Tim?

Jen said...

So not that thought out! I get tins/boxes at Target's $1 section or something like that. I hate to make cookies so it's usually bar type cookies or brownies. I bring them over when I know they are home and I only do it with neighbors we already know. We've already had conversations about church with them but people seem to be more receptive around the holidays. I usually attach our family Christmas card and the Welcome flyer from church with the service times and dates for Christmas Eve/Day.

Truly, it's a low key thing since I don't want it to turn into another "must do."