Until I spent the morning fending off the scavengers lured to my kitchen by freshly fried strips, I hadn’t realized that between Christmas Eve’s twice-baked potatoes and Christmas morning’s breakfast casserole, we eat more bacon at this time of year than any other. I guess Christmas inspires indulgences of many kinds.
But, overall, I’ve tried to resist overindulgence this year, particularly of the sort that lends itself more to increasing my stress levels than anything else. Gift giving proved simpler than usual. First, the girls managed to do a lot of their own Christmas shopping during our New York trip, and I managed to stick to my promise of not buying a lot of additional things just so they’d have a pile of things to open tomorrow morning. Next, my siblings and I decided to buy my parents a new television rather than individual gifts from all of us, cutting down on another round of shopping.
My focus this year? Do the things I enjoy and that bring enjoyment to my family. DD2 and I made spritz cookies and holly clusters, and I even made divinity (a personal challenge), but I didn’t make Christmas cutouts, due to general lack of interest on the parts of both the kids and myself. I made the broccoli and rice casserole last night for our dinner tonight, and I’ll whip up the stuffing for potatoes in a few minutes after baking them this morning. Both of those dishes can start cooking on the delay cycle while we attend church tonight so our traditional fondue dinner will come together easily once we get home.
I realized belatedly that all this laissez-faire holiday attitude has left Soccer Boy without a particularly Christmasy outfit for this evening’s service. I’ve come a long way from the years when I obsessed about the kids outfits looking just right. Perhaps a bit too far, though I blame Soccer Boy’s recent growth spurt for this turn of events. After he emphatically told me, “I am not wearing a sweater vest this year. That’s where I cross the line!” I gave in (and resisted both giggling and correcting his phrasing) and responded that he could just wear his dress pants and a button down shirt. The only problem? His dress shoes, pants, and shirt which fit just fine the last time he needed them are all now noticeably small. I’m sure his nice jeans and polo will work well for the early service–not that we have much choice!
Spending time together, relaxing, enjoying the spirit of the holidays–that’s what I want Christmas to be about. This point became even more important yesterday morning, when we received news that Adventure Guy’s uncle died in a plane crash in upstate New York Wednesday night. My mother-in-law made a quick trip to support her sister as she buried her husband today. Though she’ll be returning tonight, I know that being together will take on even more importance than usual tomorrow as we remember him and think of his wife and daughters and their loss.
To end on a happier note, I wish everyone an evening of peace and joy spent with the people you love and a wonderful Christmas morning for all who celebrate tomorrow!