The Incompleteness of Christmas

[The Dude on the "big" downhill part of our "back-yard" cross country ski course.]

I don’t know why Christmas always seems to catch me by surprise. Here it is December 21 and I haven’t finished my shopping. I acquired a fair amount of booty on Saturday – running here and there all around the square – but I’m still not done. Rather than go all to pieces, I’ve made my peace with the incompleteness of Christmas.

The following things that will not get done by the 25th:

The Christmas card and letter will not be complete or sent before Santa makes his rounds. Sorry Mom. If you follow this blog on a regular basis, I don’t think any of the news in the letter will surprise you. I’ve done my part, compressing my “accomplishments” for 2009 into two paragraphs and asked the rest of the family to do the same.

Not all Christmas decorations will be deployed. I realized this yesterday when Shana asked if could move the Christmas boxes down stairs – rather than just leave them in the middle of the living room for the next weeks. One of the boxes – a big plastic “keep” box purchased several years ago at Target – was very heavy. I believe it contains all our holiday dishes – which we don’t keep out the rest of the year, and have no cupboard space to store them even if I wanted to use them.

Hmm – that’s not so bad – only two things. I know I will finish the shopping even if it means spending Annual Male Shopping Day (aka Christmas Eve) at the mall.

So what is my excuse you ask? What have I been doing besides shopping and Christmas “carding” in all my spare time? Well, here’s what happened yesterday:

AM: Skiiing with the Dude in the “back yard”.

Afternoon: We went to see Shana’s dad in a wonderful little Christmas play produced at his church. Shana’s dad played an aging Martian.

PM: Last night we went to a solstice party hosted by one of Shana’s co-workers where a lot of folks (adults and kids) brought their instruments for Holiday jamming. The Dude held his own on tin whistle.

Add to yesterday’s agenda, the past two weeks of end of season school activities – various choir performances – and general standard non-holiday business – and you have it. Four days to the big event, and I’m not done.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready – just not done. There is a difference. I’m ready for all the social activities, spending time with family and friends, eating lots of good food, watching kids open presents. I just haven’t finished all the stuff I’m “supposed to” have completed. Thinking of it that way – that’s how I make my peace with the incompleteness of Christmas.

P.S. - Duke sends his greetings from the couch. He refuses to get caught up in the holiday rat-race.


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