How we do holiday tradition at our house

Last night Liv comes to me and reminds me that it’s December 1st and can we get the Advent calendar down.

Oh, crap. The Advent calendar! That damn Advent calendar will be the death of me, I swear.  25 little boxes, each waiting to hold a treat.  It was easy enough to fill when she was little – some stickers, a bouncy ball, etc.  But now that she’s a tween, the 25 boxes taunt me.

advent

Luckily I’d squirreled away enough treats to fill roughly half of the boxes so no emergency there. Yet.  We’ll talk about that in a week or two.

No, what I was worried about last night was the state of my house. Because only people with pretty houses have pretty Christmas traditions, right?  She said Advent calendar, and I looked around my house at the piles of laundry, the tree boxes from the attic, the JUNK everywhere.  We weren’t READY for Christmas in our house.

Because for the entire month of December, a warm glow is supposed to emanate from your house. Holiday cheer and a warm hot cocoa and snuggling by the fire while reading a Christmas story book. Yeeaaaaahhhh, right.  Whose life is THAT?

Ahhh... Such a cozy setting for some holiday cheer!
Doesn’t this make you want to bust out the hot cocoa and Christmas albums?

At our house it’s running from activity to another – Girl Scouts and church play rehearsal and cookie party planning and teacher gifts. Oh yeah, and laundry and homework and cat puke, too.  Christmas bites us on the ass every year.  I’m he-e-e-ere.

But of course you can’t just wait for perfect peace to do holiday stuff, or there would never BE any holiday stuff. So I got over myself and my little “I can’t do it” panic, and we brought that Advent calendar down from the attic.

Tony cleaned off a small space on the bookshelf for the calendar while I rooted through my bags stashed in my studio to find the treats we could fill. Liv waited in her room until we told her it was done.

And you know what? It didn’t matter that it was all rushed and last minute and that she could hear us scrambling to get it all together.  She didn’t feel the moment was ruined by the dining table piled chest deep in Girl Scout supplies and decorating projects.  She pulled open that drawer and found some chocolate coins and a couple of hair bands, and was thrilled.  And I was reminded that most of life’s joys aren’t found in the calm, perfectly planned times but in the spaces we carve out of the everyday hustle and bustle and chaos.

That’s how we do holiday tradition at our house.

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