"One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly." -Andy Rooney
I am not very good with messes or excessive noise, which usually accompanies the making of said messes. Unfortunately, these two are the frankincense and myrrh of the holiday season, which in our house, is also birthday season; every person in our family and extended family (except for myself) is born during this last, most festive, quarter of the year.
You can imagine if you are the only person without a birthday during this time of year, you can pretty much count on being the only person truly responsible for bringing on the merriment. Additionally, if you are the mom at this time of year, you can count on being the main person verifying Santa’s list (along with aiding in his fulfillment), organizing holiday events, addressing holiday cards, lighting menorahs, supervising the rooftop holiday light hanging, along with accompanying minors to Nutcracker performance and consuming large amounts of holiday chocolate.
That last one is really not an obligation, more of a choice.
In years past, I did my best to handle the holiday season like a swim across a long pool, holding my breath until I got to the other side, gasping. This year motherhood continues to teach me, and I’m doing my best to pay attention: it’s all about living in the moment. I am doing my best to ignore the wrapping, the peppermint stickiness everywhere, the pine needles; I am instead focusing on the faces of my children reflected in the glowing lights. I am witnessing my husband’s hands, rough and worn after spending the day proudly hanging lights on the home we have made together. I am letting the kids lick the bowl, stay up later and watch Elf twice in a row. Alright, three times, but the last one was my idea.
I am trying to be not just OK with the mess this year. I am trying to embrace it, to know that soon enough everything will be clean and shiny, my kids will be grownups, and I will yearn for stickiness and wrappings and long holiday shopping lists with little ones hugging onto my leg, begging me not to leave.
So if you come over this year and our place is a bit in shambles, don’t judge, OK? I’m embracing, that’s all.