"Any arbitrary turn along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different." ~ Frances Mayes

After losing 112 pounds in almost a year and a half, I have come to realize how very much I was missing. I may be Late to the Party, but I am doing my best to catch up in my own unique way!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Take time to smell the turkey

And so it begins....the holiday madness!

I usually don't decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving, but this year is different. Traditionally, the only thing "Christmasy" that does come down from the attic pre-T. Day is the tree. Before we bought our current smaller pre-lit tree a couple of years ago, we had a 10 foot tree, which was not pre-lit, and it would take a great part of a day (and a lot of under-the-breath cuss words) to get it up and working.  For Ed, it was always a labor of hate. So to save time, the weekend before Thanksgiving, down would come the giant tree from its resting place in the attic,  for assembly only, and then shoved into the living room corner, lights on but no decorations.  On Thanksgiving weekend - Sunday afternoon, when all the Fab 5 and their parents had evacuated the premises, I would start decorating in earnest.  That "earnest" usually takes about a week to finish, including the outside and the tree.  But this is THIS year and things are different.

I sat down about a week ago with a calendar and I began to calculate.  Let's see.....Turkey Day is on Thursday, the 25th.  Hmmmm....only 4 weeks to Christmas from that day.  One week to decorate, 4 weeks to enjoy.  Oh, but look....our calendar has something scheduled for the weekend after Thanksgiving, the next weekend, AND the next.  So exactly when will the bulk of this decorating get done?  Panic set in.  There won't be enough time!  Plus, the three of the Fab 5 that reside in South Carolina don't usually come here during the holidays since we go to their house at Christmas, so they don't recall what PamPam's house looks like for Christmas and they are getting old enough to really enjoy the decorations. Time to re-evaluate! Ed capitulated and brought the boxes and tree down from the attic on Thursday.

So for the past 4 days, between teleworking, Carson's last soccer game, yard sales, weigh-in, Christmas shopping, grocery shopping, going to see Harry Potter, packing an Ebay box to ship, making a birthday present for Olivia's friend, cooking cornbread for dressing, my house looked as though a holiday bomb had gone off.  Boxes in every conceivable corner, garlands on the floor, tissue paper wrappings tossed wildly aside.  I refer to it as "Christmas vomit".  At least Olivia came and helped me on Friday, thank God!

Checklist:  North Pole Village...check.  Nativities....check.  Nutcrakers.....check.  Stockings and stairs.....check. Carson was here last evening and "helped" as much as a 7 year old has the inclination to do.  Santas....check.  Mantle....check.   Snowmen....check.  Angels.....check.  Today I worked harder than a sled dog and got all the loose ends, boxes, and wrappings tamed and shoved back into the storage.  Garland on outside door....check.  Dining room table and buffet....check.  Bakers rack.....check.  Guest bathroom...check.  Breakfast bar....check.  Kitchen island....check.  Breakfast table....check.  There is Christmas in every conceivable corner, nook and cranny of my house and I say that literally.  The tree still needs to be decorated, but it can wait till Sunday.  Ed needs to hang the wreaths on all the windows, but that isn't as big a priority as the interior.  Next week I will take some pictures and share.

With the biggest portion of the decorating marked off my "to do" list, you would think that the panic would subside, right?  But, oh, no....not this gal. I have a hundred things that need to be done ASAP and there are how many days till Christmas?  Plus, there are dozens of items on my list that have a deadline in just a week or two.  That's what I meant in my opening line....and so it begins.  I will be busy day and night.  This week alone I am getting ready for Thanksgiving, creating things to sell AND give, keeping track of some Ebay items I have up for auction.  I am going to bed late and I wake up earlier with my mental day tracker ticking off all that has to be done.  I am in creative overdrive, which I love, but there aren't enough waking hours.

So I am writing this to remind myself that I need to breathe.  I need to savor the special moments that always happen during this season.  I need to be open to changing plans, if needed, or by serendipity.  I need to kick back with a cup of joe every now and again to catch my breath and enjoy my efforts that surround me in my home.  What I can get done is great, but if it doesn't all get completed, well, that's okay, too.  I need to reflect on the joy of the holidays and capture that feeling of the true reasons we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Tomorrow is a full day at the office.  Wednesday may be a half day, maybe a full day.  I will hit my front door running every evening this week till our Thanksgiving dinner. I know that many of you will do the same. But even in the midst of all this craziness just for one meal, I invite you to join with me to take a deep breath and remember to smell the turkey.  And before you go, please leave a comment on what you are grateful for this Thanksgiving! 

Happy cooking and let the Holidays begin!

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