Christmas is coming but you wouldn’t know it if you walked into our house today. I have been procrastinating about cleaning the dining and living rooms which hold the remnant mess of our summer kitchen remodel. There are always better things to do (reading, reading, reading) with my free time! I kept telling myself I would get to it and even this week when I knew time was running out, I couldn’t ignore the siren song of my Kindle. I recently finished I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara and then I became obsessed about anything else I could find out about the rapist and murderer who terrorized California in the 70’s and 80’s. And then I said to myself let me just start another book before I jump into cleaning.
So here we are four days before our annual Christmas Eve gathering with not a single indoor decoration in sight. Not a tree or nativity set anywhere. The boughs are not decked. The floors are not even swept. Liam (my twelve year old) and I have our work cut out for us these next two days. After my last post about the crop of issues that have come up with us lately, he did something online that led to a two week ban of all electronics and he seems to have learned something from it. He has been especially cooperative and pleasant of late and I am enjoying it immensely. We also just finished a book we were reading together – John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – and it was really great to read aloud to him again which is something I miss from when he was younger. The book was fairly heavy for a 12 year old but he enjoyed it too while learning about a hard time in world history.
I just realized this is not exactly Christmas reading and we should probably move onto something more festive for the holiday season! I have a wonderful old Christmas book filled with all the stories of the season. O Henry’s The Gift of the Magi, Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, The Night Before Christmas and Amahl and the Night Visitors, a play I always read with my brother when we were young. It’s a book that reminds me of what the season is about, evokes wonderful memories of my youth and is a great way to get into the spirit of Christmas. I have pulled it out each year and read some of these same stories to Liam. Once we have the house in shape it will be nice to take a break and pull it out again.
I have not been great about creating family traditions with life moving so fast but Christmas is all about family and getting together to have some good food and laughs. Christmas Eve is probably my favorite evening of the year and I spend lots of time planning out the menu pulling in favorite recipes from years past while adding a new dish here and there. Once everyone is sated we gather around the table and tell stories from years past and play games. It is usually a late night for me as I prefer to do the clean up on my own and then tackle the last minute gift wrapping. We can sleep in a little (Liam has never been an early riser for Christmas) and then take our time with having coffee and opening gifts before heading to church mid-morning.
I have somehow drifted through the holiday with this post but there is much work to be done before we get to Christmas day! I hope however you celebrate, you have a wonderful holiday.