I love Christmas. But six days until Dec 25, and we're already holidayed out.
- hung garlands of green, white and red lights on our home, to start the holiday spirit.
- attended the sumptuous Glory of Christmas at the Crystal Cathedral.
- enjoyed a Messiah concert (beautifully orchestrated and sung).
- seen the childrens' Christmas pageant at our church (extra-adorable this year).
- strolled (and munched) through our city's La Posada and Tamale Festival celebration.
- savored our traditional all-day tree & house decorating, complete with holiday music.
- indulged in baking gifts....butterscotch haystacks, cinnamon snickerdoodles, Mrs. Calvert's best chocolate chip cookies, peppermint fudge.
- taught the story of Jesus' birth, in depth over 3 weeks, to our 5th grade Sunday School class.
And yet over the next six days, we will....
- attend an office Christmas party.
- participlate in a caroling and potluck cookie party.
- host a homemade soup and bread dinner on Dec 23.
- greet and give out neighborhood Christmas gifts, usually Dec 24.
- attend Christmas Eve services.
- host our 4 children, plus 2 spouses, on Christmas Day (brunch and dinner).
And we've done NO Christmas shopping! That's not as disastrous as it sounds. By mutual consent, we give gifts only to our children and children-in-law. All but one are adults. who, truthfully, can't think of anything they need or particuarly desire. We buy gift cards.... Best Buy, Nordstroms, Borders, Cheesecake Factory, Mervyns, Amazon.... and a few, small personal presents for them. Our 13 year old will have plenty under the tree....CDs, Old Navy clothes, acoustic guitar stuff, perhaps tickets to a professional lacrosse game, and the like. (We offered her a cell phone, but she's not interested. An iPod is over this year's budget.)
My most cherished gifts to my family are wonderful, satisfying meals and an atmosphere conducive to loving family fellowship and relaxation at Christmas.
Yes, I love Christmas. But I love the peace and quiet of the day after Christmas even more. And I love the return to the normalcy and texture of our everyday lives.