Where is my Christmas spirit?
I'm having a hard time finding it, and I NEVER have a hard time finding it. I'm one of those annoying ones who love Christmas carols all year round. I love the excuse to bake. I love the smiles and greetings strangers give each other at this time of year. I love houses all lit up and all the traditions I described last year.
Maybe it's because for the first time in five years or so, we are traveling at Christmas. Not just traveling, driving. With three boys. For three days. Each way. We will probably spend more time in the car than we will with either of our families. And December is just not the best time to visit Chicago.
And I can't complain because this was my idea ----I had to campaign for months to get Brian on board. I wanted our boys to see their cousins.
Brian has already hung up the outside lights and has none of my ba-humbug-ness. Perhaps because he doesn't have to do any of the Christmas shopping. Other than for me. And I'm easy to please (if he reads this, that is sure to make him laugh).
Instead of focusing on what we'll miss here at home and what we won't do, here's what I will do:
*steal an idea from Melissa Deakin using our stash of Christmas books as a sort of advent calendar.
*read Borg's The First Christmas along with Angie and I hope that will renew my Christmas spirit.
*light the candles on the advent wreath Aidan made at "church club"---and give thanks for women like my friend Kathy that gathered the supplies from resale stores and made it happen!
*resolve myself that we probably will disappoint both our families by not doing all the things they'd hoped to squeeze into our visit, and focus on our sons, making sure this visit isn't a rush of coming and going and sitting in traffic.
*see my dad meet and hold Nolan for the first time.
*meet two new nephews and see our niece Maria for the first time since she was a wee infant.
*go to Christmas mass with Brian's mom and all our boys.
*listen to Liam Neeson read The Polar Express while we drive through through Nebraska. And then again through Iowa. And maybe a few more times.
*watch "It's a Wonderful Life" this week since it probably won't happen on Christmas Eve this year
*focus on a few handmade gifts rather than the never-ending shopping/online ordering.
*remind myself that our time here is limited, and our time with family in Chicago even more limited, so keep my sense of humor, let things go, and relish being able to hug everyone in person.
*and know that next year, we'll get a real tree again and have Christmas at home.