‘Tis the season to go bonkers…well, hopefully not. Take a chill pill, as they used to say in the Aughts, and remember – it’s only life.
As Old Man 2018 begins to gasp and flail on his deathbed and Baby 2019 watches, gleefully rubbing his chubby hands together and giggling, some of the rest of us are as strung out and panicky as a group of evil snowpersons on the highway to hell.
For those who celebrate Christmas, the blessed holiday is fast approaching and there’s still so much to do! This may provoke a variety of responses: surliness, snappishness, rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, air-headedness, wailing and gnashing of teeth, and that sudden lack of oxygen when you realize it’s Christmas Eve and you forgot to purchase a present for your son-in-law (oops).
The dining room table is awash in heaps of wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, and unwrapped presents (which explains why there’s nothing under the tree), and you’ve been eating your meals on the couch or in your recliner, gingerly balancing your plate on your lap as you pick at your potatoes (from a box) and binge watch Hallmark movies, exclaiming, “Hey! She was the mom in Wonder Years!” and “Look! She played Winnie in Wonder Years!” and “Ohmygosh! That guy right there – he was the dad in Wonder Years!” (oops again).
Why do we do this to ourselves year after year? Why are we such disorganized, chaotic, incompetent, train wrecks?
Because we’re not Martha Stewart. And most of us don’t have full-time staffs of at least 23 employees per home…however many homes we have. Or don’t.
So, we must make do with what we do have – really awesome imaginations!
Picture the vast cosmos. Picture…all of time. Picture eternity.
Now ask yourself – in the grand scheme of things, will any of this matter? Will your husband file for divorce when he realizes you accidentally bought him two electric drills for Christmas instead of the one drill and one set of drill bits he earnestly hinted at for half the year? (If he does file for divorce over this, then crack open a beer or bottle of champagne and celebrate!)
Will your son-in-law give a rat’s rear-end that the hasty wrap job on that Brew Your Own Craft Beer in a Collapsible Bucket While Backpacking in the Sierras book was a bit sub-par?
Will your kids look at you reproachfully, sadly shaking their shaggy little heads when they see that their presents are topped with cheap stick-on bows from the local dollar store?
Will your in-laws care that your house isn’t ready for the cover of Designer Homes, and there’s a layer of dust coating Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus (along with the rest of your décor and furniture)? Well…perhaps. Just smile and hand a dust rag to each one as you sweetly ask, “May I take your coats?”
Now picture eternity. Will it really matter that you didn’t get the kitchen floor scrubbed before everyone arrived for Christmas dinner, or that your mascara smeared and gave you raccoon eyes? Or that the baby spewed on Aunt Essie’s new wool coat?
And more importantly, WWJT?
That’s right, instead of the old What Would Jesus Do, I’ve updated it to What Would Jesus Think! Because isn’t CHRISTmas supposed to be a celebration of His birth, anyway? And if it’s not, then why bother with it? You can always invent a new holiday that involves presents.
I don’t care what the world thinks. I care about what He thinks.
FML (Farcical, My Life! Or Maybe Fab…)
It is December 20 as I write this. My house is in a shambles, there really is a terrible coating of dust all over the holy family and their entourage on my piano – not to mention the piano itself and everything else. From the wood stove. Yeah, those things are messy.
There is animal fur, and fir needles from the fir trees ingrained in the rug, and when I rolled my moveable kitchen island back to look for that garlic clove that escaped the rapier-sharp edge my knife, I couldn’t roll it back fast enough. The presents aren’t wrapped, and I haven’t finished shopping for the food for the feast. I tried today, but the large “one-stop shopping” place I made the mistake of patronizing didn’t have dairy-free cream cheese. Or much of anything else that I needed, except green beans.
And I really should have returned the unused tire chains and hubby’s snow boots from our very rainy trip over the mountains earlier this week, which would make our bank account deliriously happy. But a violent wind storm was due (on the heels of a rare and destructive tornado two days ago) and I wanted to get home and prepare. Perhaps I should have prepared yesterday, but I had family visiting! Much more important.
The power has blipped off and come back on three times, as the rain falls sideways and the giant fir trees menacingly sway over the house (and catapult their annoying needles onto the sidewalks and into the gutters). But it’s okay – I filled a bunch of containers with filtered water – since I (ahem!) forgot to buy bottled water. I also filled up a couple of buckets for flushing the toilet.
I cranked the cold up on the fridge and freezer, with the theory that if they’re super-duper cold if/when the power goes out, they’ll stay cold longer. I have firewood, and dinner is in the slow cooker and can be finished in my Dutch oven on the wood stove, if needed. We even have a generator!
I just hope it has fuel.
What Matters Most
As for Christmas…I can wrap presents by lantern light if I must, since if the power goes out, I’ll have to take a rain check with Hallmark and Winnie and the rest of the Wonder Years gang. I’ll take another crack at finishing the food shopping tomorrow. The house won’t look perfect and my mascara may smear (if I have time to put any on), but the most important things will get done. Because they always do.
Correction – second most important things, with the first being, celebrating the God who so loved the world that He took on the form of a human being, lived among us, and died for us so that we didn’t have to take the punishment we deserved, and can even have eternal life.
If we want it.
So, take a deep breath. Look around you. Realize what’s really important during the Christmas season.
And what’s of utmost importance forever.