Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Finding the joy of the season

Two years ago, two days after Christmas, my father-in-law passed away. He'd been sick for several months, and Christmas that year - my son's first - was spent sitting on the end of his bed because he was too weak to get up and come to the living room. It was a joyous time, but also incredibly sad.

This year, we are in the middle of a move. (This post is going up at 6:00 pm because this is the first time I've had a moment to breathe all day.) Our house is nothing but boxes and mess and chaos. No tree, no lights, no decorations. If it weren't for the music I keep playing in the background while I pack and clean (and the pile of snow I can see outside my office window as I type this), one wouldn't know it was Christmas around here at all. We leave in two days to take our first load to our new house, 500 miles away. We come back Christmas Eve, and start the day after Christmas to load the next trip.


My kid will be three in a month. This is the first year he is actively excited about Christmas. He gets what is going on, recognizes Santa Claus, and asks for Christmas songs every time a radio comes on. He is beyond thrilled. So even though I feel nothing but overwhelmed, I need to find the joy of the Christmas season.

(Can we mention how bummed I am that I have to search for the joy? I LOVE Christmas. Love it. I start listening to Christmas songs in October August. Even two years ago, when John was so sick, I was excited for Christmas.)

So every so often, despite how busy I am and how badly I can't afford to take breaks, I need to step back from packing and prepping and cleaning. I grab my kid and we dance to some Christmas tunes. Or we read a book. Or watch Prep & Landing. We leave the house and play in the snow. We talk about Santa and family and traditions and Jesus.

Sometimes, in the back of my mind, I'm listing the millions of things I still have to do. But sometimes - and these are the best times - I forget all of that and just enjoy the moment with Boy Sprout, the excitement of Christmas all around us.

Have you ever had this experience of having to search and work for holiday joy? What's worked for you?

(Pssst….don't forget to enter our 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. There are some fantastic books and goodies up for grabs, y'all!)

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