December 20, 2008

The week before Christmas

So here we are hard upon our third Christmas together, and slowly things come together. My decorating is a tad more polished than it was our first two Christmases together. Things are more intentional. Goodness knows what I'm going to do with the extra ornaments though...maybe time to clean out that closet before putting everything back. It's funny how things happen. Last Christmas I was frustrated that I was too tired/sick/depressed to get much done in the way of baking. This year I'm frustrated that I'm too busy to get much done in the way of baking. It's still frustrating, but I'll call it progress. Better to be too tired for gingerbread after a day of working/running errands/helping at church/babysitting/etc than to wake up tired and go to bed tired from the sheer weight of living. Even though I'm not always doing what I like, I'm certainly doing much more than I was. It's funny. Last Christmas when I didn't have a job or many obligations I was too depressed to really do the things at home that I wanted to do. Now that I have a job I find myself craving time at home to do all those things I never did. I have to wonder what it's going to be next year. I daren't think that I'll finally get it all together. At any rate all this has made the search for traditions somewhat difficult. Traditions take time, space, and energy that it's often hard to muster. A large breakfast on Christmas Eve sounds great. I'd even love to try making homemade donuts sometime. But who really wants to clean up the dishes? It's a lot easier with four women in the kitchen than one. And what if your idea of a good morning is not having to be up at a certain time? It's little stuff like that that makes traditions hard. I know that I only have so much energy. Do I spend it cooking, shopping, cleaning, crafting, or generally making Christmas? My list can only be so long, and I often need to make it shorter.

That said, here are a few things we have enjoyed doing:

Helping Mamaw decorate for Christmas. It really is one of the highlights of Christmas for me. We always have the best time down there with her, and she appreciates it so much.

Planning a Christmas outing. Allen and I have heard the Messiah, been to a jazz concert, seen Trans Siberian Orchestra, and gone to see an old movie. It's always been something different, and we've always enjoyed it.

Watch Christmas in Connecticut. It's one of our favorite Christmas movies. My family always enjoyed watching Christmas movies together, and every Christmas Allen and I pull out a few we especially like -including A Christmas Story and We're No Angels. Allen's not such a fan, but I may have to find a copy of Scrooge to watch. The music is just so good.

Christmas Eve looking at lights. This is one left over from my family. Every Christmas Eve Allen and I get Arby's and drive around looking at Christmas lights just like I used to do with my family. Pringles are important.

And of course we go visit various grandmothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins on various sides of the family.

But my favorite tradition is Christmas Day. In the morning we pack up our presents and go over to his parent's house for breakfast and presents. Then we drive down to the farm for more presents and all the food we can possibly eat. It's wonderful fun.

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