It was still dark outside as I opened the door to hang out the Christmas wreath on our front door. The day before there was no Christmas anywhere in our house. Now the tree was glittering, every surface was decorated, the stockings were full, the windows had Christmas curtains. The tables had Christmas tablecloths, and yes, the teddy bears and dolls had Christmas ribbons on.
I put the wreath in place and stepped back to admire my work. Then a happy voice called out: ” Merry Christmas!” it was the newspaperboy trudging through the snow at six o’clock in the morning. Then he added: “Why are you up so early? Isn’t it a holiday?” I am sure I smiled, I am sure I said the right thing, I did not tell him the truth though. I had not been in bed at all. When the kids finally where in bed the night before I had started a whirlwind of activity that had taken me through the whole night.
Now I was ready to stagger with bloodshot eyes into Christmas, ready to fight to keep my eyes open, longing to be in bed, while everybody else was getting ready. Later that day we sat next to my good friend and her family at Christmas Eve service. We both fell asleep. I did not keep my secret from her, “when did you go to bed?”I said. It was when she answered “not yet” we both knew that we had to keep this secret, as no-one would agree that any Christmas decorations was worth it.
I think that was the start of our decline. From the mountain of self-declared queens of Christmas into the calm vallies and peaceful meadows of being Christmas friends.
The first step was leaving the tradition of magical transformation behind. From then on I allowed Christmas to tiptoe silently and graciously into my home from the first of December. Every day I do one thing that could evolve into the Christmas I want. Make a wreath, buy some gifts, prepare some food. Then, at the 24th of December, Christmas is here and I embrace it as it is. Now a days I might even be enjoy greeting the newspaperboy, as it will never be at the ending of the night, but at the crisp, magical beginning of Christmas, with me, rested and happy in the middle of it all.
Just now though, I will light the fire, curl up on the couch and listen to Christmas music. In my heart there will be Christmas already!
Believe me, I know better than most how frantic and exhausting it is possible to make the season of peace and goodwill. The main story on Indexyourlife in December will be my way to a Christmas free of tangles.
In December my brother and I write an advent calendar blog together in norwegian.You may visit at JULEFRYD or Christmas Joy. This year we will be writing or sharing thoughts and joys of gifts, giving and sharing. We will post there every day, and I will share some of that blog here on indexyourlife too.
All pictures at Indexyourlife are mine, if not otherwise stated.