Finding the oxygen

The holidays around here are a mixture of delight and insanity. I spend the last week or so before Christmas totally under water. This year, my cards are likely to be post-Christmas greetings for a fair portion of my list. I paid someone to deep clean my house on Wednesday, but by today, my floors were already gross again. There is an extensive list of items I was supposed to complete today that never happened. Half the string of lights beautifying my living room burned out, just in time for our first family event here tomorrow. 

It’s 6:10 p.m. My sweet husband is preparing supper, because I have had zero time for food prep. Lina is sitting in my lap, wheezing with every breath, thanks to a nasty cold she got from yours truly, who got it from Corin, who is still coughing. Someone in this house has been sick since September. I don’t understand it, but I will tell you that after the holiday, we will be purging this house of sugar, going to bed early and avoiding anyone who appears to be thinking about sneezing. (As if that last one is possible.)

So yeah – when we have a moment to surface for air, we find ourselves wondering, like so many of you, how this became the pace of our lives. I don’t exactly know the answer. I am finding some ways to start simplifying, thanks to girlfriends who are reminding me to lower my expectations. Like, really lower them. I’m trying.

And also, there really are so many moments of magic crammed into these crazy days. It’s how I can still love this time of year. There was making gingerbread cookies with Corin yesterday (admittedly followed by over-tired tantrums). There are the repeated readings of favorite versions of the Christmas story. (Mortimer’s Christmas Manger is currently Corin’s favorite, while Humphrey’s First Christmas continues to be mine.) There was Corin’s excitement about delivering packages of cookies to the neighbors earlier this evening. There is Lina tangling herself up in Christmas lights and exploring the ornaments on the bottom of the tree. There is the music, which I love so truly. Those moments are the deep breaths of oxygen in these underwater days.

So, here we go: The Christmas home stretch. I’m going to try to find a little more of this kind of wonder.

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