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. . . .