"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. " T Merton

December 16, 2010

Christmas 2010
Originally uploaded by anastasiav
My boss said to me this morning “I think I’m more excited for your Christmas than I am for my own.” You see, this year, for the first time as a working adult, I’m taking the week before Christmas totally off. I’m going to bake cookies and go shopping (and continue to send E to preschool at least three days that week, so I can actually get things done). Most of you know that, until this past January, I worked part-time for a Giant Catalog Retailer while also working full time at a “real” day job. Prior to that, I had worked full time for that same Giant Catalog Retailer, where, although my primary job was not customer facing, at the holiday we all became customer facing and worked 6 days a week to make sure that our customer’s holiday experience was a great as we could make it. What got left behind was making my families’ holiday experience as great as I could make it.

When E was born, I promised myself that Christmas would be magical for him. We work hard at instilling belief in Santa in him, and we’ve also worked hard to make sure that Santa brings him his heart’s desire each year, without totally overwhelming him with gifts. We took him to see Santa, and Santa came by his preschool as well (E told me later that he thought Santa “came back” to see him because he – E – had been so shy when he first met Santa. He became tongue tied and forgot to ask for the one gift I know he wants most in the world.)

Our tree has been up for over a week now. There are still totes of decorations sitting in the front hall, but hopefully I’ll be able to finish off the bulk of the decorating tonight. (Monday’s tooth injury set me back a couple of days.) My shopping is almost done (thanks, internet!) but I still have stocking stuff to shop for. I haven’t done any fabulous crafts yet (I still don’t quite get how working moms seem to find the time to also do amazing crafts after bedtime. I’m lucky if I’m awake after 9 pm.) but they’re in the plan. I did make matching stockings for us last year, and it gives me a little thrill to see them hanging from the mantle.

Still, for some reason, it doesn’t feel much like Christmas. Maybe it’s just the lack of snow. Maybe it’s the big pile of plastic totes that remains in my front hall. Or, maybe, as I mentioned to Josh the other night, maybe it’s that over the years I’ve come to associate a terrible feeling of stress (both financial and time) with the holiday season, and this year that stress just isn’t there.

Lets hope that a good round of cookie baking, holiday specials on DVD, and house cleaning will help me find a “new normal” feeling of what the holidays are all about.