I wanted so badly for this to put me in the Christmas spirit. I've not really felt it this year and kind of feel like I'm just holding on for dear life before my house and obligations swallow me up. On his daily radio show, so many people have called in to say how much this book has changed their lives, how phenomenal the stage show was. I was so looking for that to happen to me, too. I wanted to wait on hold for nearly two hours to say to him on the radio, "This was just what I needed." Instead, as the show ended and I watched on the screen as faux snow fell onto the audience, all I could think was, "You know, someone's going to have to clean that up." The point was obviously lost on me.
Every year I think, "This year will be different." I want that "Leave it to Beaver"-type episode where I spend the day in the kitchen cooking marvelous things to deliver to friends and family, where the ingredients are a prop and the cost didn't come out of my own pocket, and where the stage crew magically cleans up the mess that it leaves behind. Instead, my fingers are sore from tying over a hundred rubber bands around hot chocolate cones and I'm off to buy more mini marshmallows because they are Griffin's favorite treat and keep disappearing by the handfulls before I can get them into the cones. I'm rushed thinking I have to put tags on these and all the other gifts that need to be delivered by tomorrow because it's the last day of school before Christmas break. There is mutual tonight (an International Dinner for the elderly in our ward) where we have to prepare two desserts (one from Argentina and one from France) for we don't know how many and do a "heart attack" for one of our inactive girls. The snow is falling (pretty, but not fun to deliver Julie's presents to realtors in), my days are scheduled to the minute, and again, all I can think of is "Who's going to clean up the mess?"
Even my Beehive challenge of reading the Book of Mormon in 40 days has become a chore. Once you get 40 chapters behind, it's hard to find that much time to catch up. What had brought me peace just a month ago is now stressful.
And yet, just two days ago, someone arrived at my doorstep holding two dozen homemade rolls. You see, several years ago around Thanksgiving I purchased a whole bunch of fleece to make blankets to donate to whomever needed them. They have sat unfinished in my living room cabinet until last month when I thought it a perfect opportunity for the young women to finish so I could finally get rid of them. The cafeteria supervisor at Westmore let people know that she was part of a project that would be distributing blankets, coats, hats, etc. to people in need. I thought this a perfect place for the blankets to go and so I delivered them to her last Friday. She told me this about the family that received them. There was a young mother with a newborn there and she had mentioned that she had no way to keep this baby and her other children warm this year. They received all of our blankets and she broke down in tears knowing now that her baby would be warm. As a thank you, Linda made some of her fantastic rolls (that she bakes from scratch at least twice a week for the little elementary school kids' lunches!) for our family. I stood there dumbfounded thinking, "I don't need the rolls. You should take them to this family or other families who I'm sure need so much more than I do."
I know the true spirit of Christmas is in serving and giving to others. I knew at that moment that there could be no gift greater than knowing that we had helped not only her but other families in need through Sub for Santas. What a slug, I am. I have everything I need. My family has a roof over their heads, two working furnaces, HD on one of the TVs, two parents that love each other, and more food than we can store in our own house. What more could we want or need?
I think what's so hard is getting through the rest of it. I think the greatest gift of all would be everybody cancelling all the parties, concerts, sing-a-longs, and just freeing up time to be at home, with your family. Well, that and a maid to clean up afterwards.
PS: Don't be surprised if our Christmas cards show up around Valentine's Day!