This Christmas is upon me before I have even had time to blink. I can't say it comes as a surprise like it has in years past. I have seen it sneaking up on me, but have been too preoccupied to notice. I now find myself scrambling. It has been a pretty busy November/ December for me.
My Dad (the copy cat that he is) went in for reconstructive surgery on his nose in November. He went to see my beautiful doctor in Toronto. I expected for him to be out of it for weeks, but that tough old bird was bright eyed the next day. I had a turkey lunch to organize for our school, and then the unthinkable happened right after. The night of the school Christmas lunch I began to feel yucky. By the next morning I was SICK. For two days all I did was sleep. I honestly cannot remember the last time that I was that sick. My asthma kicked in and I wound up at the hospital for a breathing treatment. A few days later I went to my family doctor, who put me on heavy antibiotics and ordered a chest
X-ray. It is really only today (more than a week later) that I feel almost well again. I lost more than a week of more valuable than gold Christmas preparation time. In the past I would be so stressed out right now, but am in a better place now and I realize that stressing about it doesn't get it done, it just makes me ill.
A large part of the reason that I am so clear headed about Christmas this year is because we just came back from an amazing mini-vacation in the Adirondack Mountains. Last year we decided that we (o.k. really it was me) had made Christmas too much about gifts and not enough about family. I was stuck in a place that made me think that more is better. More meant that we are amazing parents. Christmas morning I would watch them opening their gifts and be upset when they became bored opening them, and just wanted to play. It finally took finding an unopened toy months after Christmas to give me the wake up call that was long overdue. We decided to talk to the kids ahead of time and see how they would feel about receiving less presents and have a mini-vacation in their place. They thought it was a great idea, and so that's what we did. Christmas morning last year I held my breath while they unwrapped fewer gifts, but seemed more happy. I kept waiting for that disappointed look on their little faces, but it never came.
This year we did the same thing. We purchased fewer gifts for the kids and went on a holiday to the Adirondack Mountains. The drive was breath taking. I kept letting out squeals of delighted joy as I looked at the scenery. The road we took was very quiet and allowed us to feel like we were the only people in the world. The trees that looked as though they had been placed along the road way intentionally. They were covered in snow in such a way that it looked like they had been flocked for Christmas. It was like driving through a Christmas card. The beauty of nature all set against a backdrop of snow covered mountains.