It's 17 December, and I'm home. Not a creature is stirring here at home, except me. The rest of the creatures are watching an Eagle Scout ceremony, where some friends are becoming Eagle Scouts and another friend is speaking. Needing to stop and rest this sabbath, I couldn't attend. So here I am, blogging in my pj's with a hot cup of peppermint tea, feet up.
School lets out late this year! I remember the wonderful, long Christmas vacations I enjoyed as a kid. Some years, school let out as early as December 17th. It was wonderful, because you had time to play, travel, visit and prepare for Christmas. If I wasn't a stay-at-home mom, I don't know how I would have managed this year. School lets out on the 20th, and in some cases on the 21st. That leaves only four days to shop and travel and bake and rest. Ugly trend. I hope this is the worst it ever gets.
Our son wants to be a Navy Seal, and is aggressively working towards that goal. If God grants him this heart's desire, this will be our second to last Christmas with our family as we have known it. Our daughter is laboring toward acceptance at Covenant College. We know, this year, that we need to enjoy our time together, because we may not always have it.
My life-long buddy, sister-like cousin from the Chicago suburbs arrives this week with her family. Our presents are all wrapped and under the tree. My husband has wrapped my birthday present in birthday paper and displayed it on it's own. I took the time to prepare and freeze food that I'll pull out for my visitors. I'll make and freeze hors d'eurves early this week. One of my dearest friends here in Florida baked for me her apple cake that she knows that my family loves. It too, will be frozen and wait for guests. Happy prospects this December!
Yesterday, I spent the morning with two girlfriends helping prepare for a sit down dinner Christmas party with friends. Scratching his head, one of their husbands asked, "Do you all know the meaning of 'simple' and 'austere'?"
We just looked right back at him in reciprocal open curiosity, shared a laugh, and continued to bustle. At the party -which was a huge success- we played The White Elephant Game with 23 participants. I brought a fruitcake (which people either love or hate) because I knew it would be something people would either want to unload, or want to hold on to. As it turned out, a fruitcake lover 'stole' it from a fruitcake hater. Perfect ending. We sang every Christmas Carol we could think of. We didn't leave until after midnight. That's a six hour party!
This year, I'm enjoying the planning just as much as I'm enjoying the actual events. Middle age has it's privileges, and slowing down and savoring the moment is one of them. So which shall I wish on you this Christmas: middle age or the ability to enjoy the moment?
Enjoy your moments.