Ya'll... it's almost December 10th!
Maybe you are new around here, or don't know me in real life - if so, this may not mean much to you but to me and my family, December 10th has long been my self-imposed Deadline to
This year, thanks to maturing, (no, sadly-- not that...) -thanks to Advent, I am approaching the season with a slower pace... but still - December 10th is just around the corner, and I am feeling just ahead of the curve. You see, December 10th is the last possible day of Crazy that is allowed in this house.
For over a decade now I have given myself a self-imposed 'deadline' to be all done with the Christmas shopping and decorating and party planning and wrapping of gifts and all the bossy lists of things to do this season.
December 10th... I set it at first because back in the day, I was that girl who was mostly done by August anyway... (I know, right? I don't like her anymore either!) Well, rest assured, those days are long gone. I think they faded quickly when my Little was not so little, her wants were not so easily purchased months in advance in a toy aisle, and as we added to the list of nieces and nephews!
Still... December 10th is still doable. Even if I don't start until
All of this simply means this fun fact:
The last few days (which means December 7-10th) can get a little cray cray around here... lots of rushing around and it seems insane to all the unlookers and people who don't live here because - well - I DO realize that it is still weeks before Christmas. However - I normally push through the tense muscles, the deep breathing, the midnight wrapping, and the too-much-coffee-consuming-while-trying-to-make-and-address-all-of-these-cards parts and I make it!
I get through the whirlwind of December 10th and then... gloriously have nothing to do until Christmas Eve.
No, wait... did you hear me?
I'll just be sitting here, sipping something yummy.
I know, haters gonna hate...
I mean - sure... there is the baking, and the parties, and the caroling maybe... there's the Christmas movies and hot chocolate and driving around looking at all the pretty lights... there is all of the FUN stuff... but there is nothing else, nothing stressful or bossy!
(See? Brilliant, right?)
So today... I am feeling a bit ahead of the Curve... December 10th is 2 days away and I am feeling less stress, less 'cray-cray' and I think it is partly thanks to Advent... this teaching me, once again, of Waiting... of what's really important, of anticipating and finding miracles in my everyday... looking for ways to, as Ann says, receive the gift, and then BE the gift.
I have a few stocking stuffers to buy, a trip to the post office, and a couple of items to wrap. (Thank you, Cyber Monday!) Last year, I even took The Nesters' lead and skipped sending Christmas cards. (Ya'll - that was HUGE for this papercrafter - but it saved me so much glue and time and money!) This year, I decided to make a few of them myself and simply send out to a smaller list. I missed the connecting, but I didn't miss the stress! This year, I'm not so sure that I will write our annual family Christmas Letter. (I know, right? You're so surprised that I do this!) With all things Social Media, I feel like people know what we've been up to already... our Little is no longer little, or even living at home, and while that doesn't mean we are sitting here by ourselves, moping in the dark... there is definitely less activity to write about and less news that would be, well, new.
Instead of rushing around in a near panic, attempting to meet this deadline, I will be making dinner and maybe watching a cheesy Christmas movie on Netflix... maybe we'll just enjoy some jazzy Christmas music and sit in the dark, with the lights twinkling and a candle lit... enjoying being done, yes - but more than that... we'll get to enjoy being together!
In all of our rush to be ahead of the curve, may I suggest a little preplanning and preparing far enough in advance (-I'm not talking crazy talk like August... remember, we already agreed, we are not that girl!) ...I'm talking early to mid-December. Even if you find a day crammed too full, it will be worth it to give yourself room to breathe, to slow, to linger... give yourself grace to actually enjoy the holidays and create anticipation not in that they will soon be over, but in that they are still coming!
After all, it's Advent right? And Advent is all about the waiting... it's all about His coming... and so I stick by my self-imposed tradition (and reserve the right to break my own rules, because - of course!) I will still be done with the running around of Christmas, just in time to slow down and breathe in all that matters! I will make time to wait...
Because... He's always, always worth it!
Updated post. Originally published on 12/10/13
I am also linking with the Unforced Rhythms Community
and with Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday