There are many times in my life when I feel as though I am running to catch up with myself, rather than stepping imto each day anew.  Many times when I feel like too much of yesterday is being dragged into today and too much of today is being overlooked until tomorrow.  This past month (months!) has definitely been one of those times.  Having men working at our house all month and having to spend our days here, there, and everywhere (everywhere but home!) has taken its toll on our sanity, and it has also taken a huge toll on Christmas.  At least Christmas as we know it.  No time or space for decorating or baking, no tree, no music…just coming home to a not-so-homey house each evening, tired from being gone all day, no hot meal waiting…  The great idea I had for this year’s Christmas cards had to be tossed (severely altered, rather), a lot of shopping was done online (very little “made with love” this time around), and I didn’t get an advent calendar until the last day of November.  Needless to say, it’s a little…cheesey?…commercial?  I don’t know.

But the kids don’t seem to notice a thing.  They just wake up each morning, eager to open those doors, excited to see what each day will bring.  And in the midst of it, they decorated anyway.  Wall or no wall. (And the wall did come down! Just in time for us to put up a tree before we left for a visit up north!)

(Not too cozy without furniture but a lot of room for jump rope!)

We arrived home from another week out of the house (this time for vacation) just in time for Christmas Eve, and despite the frenetic month I had just endured, I felt relaxed.  There were some last minute things I wanted to get ready for the next day, but for some reason they didn’t seem pressing.  So what if the presents weren’t wrapped?  So what if the Christmas window wasn’t finished, or the house wasn’t clean?  So what if I hadn’t finished making the few presents I had thought I could?  There are other things that are so much more important this time of year…like three little girls calling out the window to Santa…

and some other stuff…

Being forced out of the house so much has made me realize how deeply I appreciate home, even though it’s in my nature to crave adventure elsewhere.  And having a “thrown together” Christmas had made me stop and think about what I really value during this time of year, and always.  It’s so much more important to me to enjoy my life than to sweat the details.  And who am I kidding, really?  “Thrown together” is what I do best. 

After people left for home, or for bed, I managed (quite easily) to wrap all the presents and get them under the tree.  As I took my Christmas Eve photo, I didn’t feel such a tingly feeling of satisfaction as I had the year before, but I felt thankful for that night, and for what I have…which is a lot.  A lot.

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