Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

For me, the days after Christmas up to the Three Kings Day (Epiphany, I think, otherwise known as Jan. 6th) are the best time of the year. It's the time that I can truly relax and reflect on the season with no outside stresses of school, ballet lessons, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meetings, church programs, or many other obligations for that matter, time to enjoy my holiday decorations, relax with my family, and do the things that I don't normally get to do when I'm on my "regular routine." I don't even think about taking my holiday decorations down until around the 6th, something I picked up on while living in Venezuela since it's a tradition there.

This is not to say that I don't enjoy the events leading up to Christmas. I try to "de-stress" the holidays by doing my shopping in advance, limiting the outside-the-home activities, and simplifying as much as possible. I also put a great deal of emphasis on the true meaning of Christmas, doing a nightly advent calendar with my kids that tells the Christmas story. However, it's just a busy time of the year and I miss those care-free days of my childhood, when I could just sit and enjoy my tree.

This year was a bit more challenging since I was doing the holiday preparations by myself. Plus, I wanted my husband to have a special Christmas too, so I spent some creative energy into sending him some holiday loving (I did the 12 days of Christmas with a variety of things he'd enjoy- little tree, nativity, Christmas CDs and DVDs, socks, boxer briefs, assorted food, etc.) I also made him a scrapbook that has a page for each child every month, so he can see the things we're doing and how they're growing (not to mention a stocking and a few other odds and ends.) He was very appreciative, but it was hard for him to get into the holiday spirit where he is. Thankfully my parents were here prior to Thanksgiving, so I was able to get the vast majority of my holiday shopping done before Black Friday. They also helped me get the tree set up and the holiday decorations out.

Not only that, I obligated myself to visit my in-laws for Christmas. My husband is an only child, and from the time that we got married they have been pining for grandchildren (my father-in-law wanted 5 grandkids- we have 3 children plus a dog and a cat) with dreams of them spending the holidays at their home so they could show off the grands to their friends and family. This required me to drive the kids 8 1/2 hours all in one day (10 1/2 with pit stops- and I've got it down to a science) to their home all the while praying there would be no inclement weather nor major traffic jams and PLEASE no explosive diapers nor vomiting children. I did this for selfish reasons too because next year my parents and sister and her family (all of whom live overseas) will be back in the States for Christmas, so I we will have the Christmas holidays with them. The whole trip went off smoothly, but I was so relieved to be back to the comforts of my own home.

Now I have every intention of sitting back, recharging, and doing the things that I want to do. I may stay in my pjs all day and read books (a page here or two for me and 20 books to the kids), catch up on some unfinished projects, etc, etc. I plan on savoring each and every moment and welcoming in a blessed new year of hope.


Jerusalem said...

I am with you - this is the best time of the year! Welcome to blogland my friend!