Merry Christmas All!
This has been a holiday season like no other, to say the least. At our home it is not just due to the pandemic. We started a small kitchen remodel that was originally expected to wrap up by Thanksgiving. Needless to say, progress is being made daily but it is not complete. I am fortunate that our contractor is a friend and understood that I NEEDED appliances and “flat surfaces” for Christmas weekend. After late hours this week, that task was accomplished! Range top installed and downdraft working, microwave and warming drawer both installed and working, temporary sink check, flat surfaces check. (Ovens were installed before Thanksgiving, Thank You Eric.)
All that said, everything that is stored in the kitchen is currently stored in the family room… on the air hockey table, under the air hockey table, on the pool table, under the pool table. Some of the lower cabinet are free standing in the same family room and full of pantry items. The bar and all it’s surfaces – also covered. The entry way is reduced to a walking path – the uninstalled items delivered by freight are anxiously awaiting their new homes. As exciting as all this is – it does not scream “Unload the attic! Bring down the Christmas totes!” All I could think of the layer of brick dust and sawdust that would gently coat EVERYTHING for the month leading to today. Ugh!!
Thanksgiving weekend, two of the teenagers asked if their personal trees would be put up that weekend. As a mama, I was happy they were inquiring and wanted their trees. Years ago I started decorating individual trees for each child’s bedroom. I add ornaments that remind me of them from that year. For example, the year that JohnJohn’s slogan was “don’t do drugs, eat tacos” – he got a taco ornament. Hopefully one day each ornament might help them recall a specific memory. As well, when they move out…they will have a decorated tree. Enough of that tangent…
There is also a tree that adorns the in law suite. It is a four foot potted something. I am pretty sure all of the branches occur in nature but on separate trees. Last year, I lovingly spent hours going through all of my mom’s ornaments and selecting her favorites (asking her on some and already knowing on others). They were hung on the tree with the intention of not coming off. (I store the smaller artificial trees illuminated and decorated, wrapped in bubble wrap.) To my surprise one afternoon last January, my mom announced she needed boxes (NEVER a good sign). I walked into her living room to find a bare tree. I was salty. I have said it before and the fact hasn’t changed. I am human. Sorry, tangent. Mom has not had any desire to decorate for years, but this year…daily inquires as to when the decorations are coming out of the attic. Enter the caregiver (the other one that isn’t family). She took her shopping for the giving tree at church and as a bonus, mom found some pieces that she was able to grab for her tree. This years theme – sparkly. No longer can Mom distinguish glass from plastic. As long as it sparkles and shines, it is “glass”. I giggle and agree, it reminds me of when the boys were much younger and they thought all meat was chicken!
The following weekend my husband put together our living room tree. It sat for what seemed like weeks. First it was quietly there, multiple textures of green gently illuminated by warm white lights. As the days passed, the tree seemed to be calling out, as if it was no longer happy just standing tall. How demanding! Do I sound like I need another dependent? Then the tree started getting into my head! Just one more thing that wasn’t finished and needed my attention.
Finally I couldn’t take it any more… I was out running errands and decided to pop into the craft store. No, I do not need more decorations…but maybe there is another idea, garland, silk flowers and berries. I have snowflakes and ribbon at home. Maybe this could work. With 70% off sales, I had $116 worth of loot. I got home and 45 minutes later, the tree was decorated. A few disclosures – it is a feminine tree with the sole exception of the red trucks on the ribbon. Secondly, I only decorated the front half of the tree (this is not usual for me). Finally, the tree skirt is a tablecloth…all the other ones – still in the attic.
As ridiculous as this seems, the tree is happier and everyone in the house was happy to have it decorated. Suddenly, other chores were being completed (not the remodel but…) and as much as the room could be ready for Christmas, it was. Presents started to arrive and were immediately placed at its base.
No matter if we are ready, Christmas will arrive on time. There were no significant shopping dates with my husband, kids, or my mom. I miss each of these opportunities but safety first. Pandemic be damned! Gifts were ordered online. One here, two there. Just not the same. For my mom, at this point more than ever, she needed a tactile experience which I could not give her. Without holding items in her hands, it was like they never existed. I know in her head she tried to remember who and what. She was not able to retain the information at all. This caused her frustration and great sadness. No matter how many times I reassured her, it wasn’t enough. And because nothing happens in a bubble, she had a sudden physical condition that terrified us all. (This situation is not resolved.) All of these factors caused greater depression – hmm that might be a Freudian slip. I intended to state my mom’s depression escalated. That sentence didn’t reflect that fact. It was more honest, I too felt depressed over the situation. However, as I started this paragraph, Christmas morning arrives on time, regardless.
So, positives… we were able to create a family involved December with games and laughter. We are all healthy. And due to the ages of our kiddos, it was not an early morning!! Teenagers aren’t all bad! hehehe… Everyone had a couple gifts to open. We shared a beautiful meal together prepared on/in new appliances!!
I have not asked about your holiday or your loved ones. I truly hope that you were able to find some joy and peace in moments this holiday season. It is a loving thing you do caring for family or a friend.
We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us.Romans 8:26