A few years ago October to December was a mad rush to get it all done. Halloween meant working on costumes and creating a display of hay bales, pumpkins, and scarecrows in the front yard. It meant pumpkin patch hayrides, making trick or treat dates, carving jack o’lanterns, throwing parties, and making sure the kids ate a high protein meal before the candy-fest started. This year it meant texting the boys at college to remind them to have a safe Halloween and then spending a couple of hours answering the doorbell.
A few years ago Thanksgiving week meant traveling to grandmas’/aunts’/friend’s homes for one huge meal after another or hosting one at our home with all the trimmings. It meant hanging lights on the house in anticipation of flipping that switch on Thanksgiving night, and going tree hunting and/or Black Friday shopping the day after. This year it meant texting the boys at college to say have a great time at the football game and enjoy the tailgate.
A few years ago the month long run up to Christmas meant giving the house a good winter clean before decorating with abandon. It meant planning/wrapping/ shipping gifts, plotting grandparent visits, and baking pies. We were taking the kids to see Christmas movies, setting Santa-face candy bowls around the house, going to parties, and attending school and church festivities. I’d read short stories because there wasn’t time for novels and steal time to work on my annual Christmas jigsaw puzzle. It was exhausting. But oh, so wonderful!
Sadly, four of the six grandparents are gone now so there aren’t as many gifts to plan or visits to plot. Without the boys here to mess up the house that good winter clean isn’t as necessary or as satisfying. Without them here to help, the minimal decorating we do feels a little more like work and less like play. It’s just hubby and I at the Christmas movies and middle-aged spread has made setting out candy bowls a tad too dangerous. With no tots or teens regularly drifting by the table to hinder/help/tease, doing the jigsaw just isn’t the same.
But the kids will be home for Christmas. Even if only for a few days. And Mama is gonna decorate and bake pies and have a jigsaw in progress. Because at our house, that’s Christmas.
What are the holidays like for you?