“You know, Mom,” J told me yesterday as he was adding little red and green bunches of plastic grapes to our Christmas tree, “it really is the most wonderful time of the year. Just like the song says!” As I lay on the couch and basked in the warm glow of the tree’s lights, drowsily mulling over the loveliness of letting my freshly washed and pajama-ed boys trim the tree this year instead of having to do it myself, I had to agree. It really is a wonderful time.
The holidays are a favorite time for most everyone, I know, but I’m really more a fan of the season before Christmas than anything else. I love the time spent with family around Thanksgiving. I love the rituals and traditions surrounding the foods we prepare. Then as we shift into the Christmas season, it’s the music I love, and the smells, and the lights, and the hours spent pondering the ones we love and how we might please them with just the right, thoughtful gift. I love the effort that goes into doing more things together, and the weeks when my children are home from school, when we can bake cookies and watch movies, and put on Christmas music and dance around the house like idiots. 🙂 For me, it’s not Christmas day that’s exciting–it’s everything that comes before it.
This year, it seems I’ve been busier than ever, trying to keep up with my everyday obligations and chase the kids around and keep up with the house and just…function. But something about what little J said last night reminded me that I need to slow down a little–take things one day at a time and really enjoy what’s happening around me. I know that this time, and these years while my children are young, will all be gone too quickly. And so, as we head into this holiday season, I offer you this wish: that you and yours may be able to slow down, take a breath, unplug, and really enjoy this time and each other. Merry Christmas, everyone!