Monday, December 14, 2009

The Glitter and Sparkle of the Season

Last night I was happily cleaning up after dinner when melancholy and mournful celtic music began playing on the radio.  It made me get all misty-eyed, nostalgic, and appreciative.  The moaning of the music made me think about how grateful I am that I'm not a cow living out on the range suffering through all kinds of weather.  Every time we are driving down the highway through blowing snow, or blowing dirt or just plain blowing air, and I see cattle out on the range all huddled together with their butts to the wind in a vain attempt to keep warm, I feel bad for them.  I sigh deeply and think to myself I'm glad I'm not a cow.  I'm so happy I have a hat and mittens and a leather coat and a warm house.  Of course when it's a beautiful summer day, the thought of spending my day out on the range with nothing to do but eat and nap in the sun sounds more appealing than sitting at a computer working for nerds.  But on the whole, I think I am still thankful to be a human.

I also thought about how grateful I am to have a husband who knows when it's time to muster the troops (daughters) and ask for help for their mother who is freaking out about all the things she thinks she has to do to get ready for Christmas.   He can survive a cranky wife for a while and he can sometimes endure a stressed-out wife for a short time but he does not tolerate a cranky and stressed-out wife for very long.  I like to used to think I am the mother who can do it all.   As it turns out, this is the year I can't make Christmas perfect all by myself for a variety of reasons which I won't bore you with (pssssst.....travelling, dissertation defense, pride, PhD, joy, PhD, celebrating, travelling, graduation, PhD, party, PhD, more celebrating).   At least I can't do it all without driving my husband, daughters, and everyone remotely close to me crazy with my perfect Christmas obsession.

Listening to that dang celtic music made me remember past Christmases and the next thing you know I was wondering how it happened that yesterday my girls were leaving cookies and letters for Santa and today it is my grandchildren writing the letters.  Then I got a bit sad thinking that next year Abby and Jorge will be living in Ecuador and we will still be here celebrating Christmases without them, because nobody in their right mind would choose to leave a beach in Ecuador to celebrate Christmas in sub-zero temperatures and howling winds.  Hey..........I just realized I could leave sub-zero temperatures and howling winds to celebrate a future Christmas at a beach in Ecuador!  So anyway, this is not the year to forgo any traditions just because I'm too busy doing things like working for nerds or losing countless minutes walking around in circles mumbling to myself.  This is the year it must all come together and be perfect because it might be a long time til we're all gathered together again around the Christmas tree as the gentle Wyoming wind rocks the house, the white snow drifts and our street becomes an ice rink for cars.

It's a hard thing to admit I can't single-handedly create the perfect Christmas like I did back before I became old and forgetful and slow.  I thought I could do it all...I was trying to do it all...but I couldn't get it all done.  Not perfectly anyway.  Oh, and stress-free.  Perfect and stress-free.  It was the stress-free part I was having the most difficulty with when Dean stepped in.  Thanks to him my Christmas preparation list has been divied up among the troops.  One of the things I gave up is gift wrapping.  I hope nobody is disappointed when, instead of packages that look like they were wrapped by a one-armed person suffering from palsy, they receive gifts in creatively sculpted and painted paper mache boxes.  (Thanks for adding to my already behemothic guilt, Dean).

So once again life is sparkly

And filled with glitter.

It won't matter if every cookie isn't perfect or if there aren't going to be enough ornaments for the tree because I got a bit carried away this year.

It won't matter if my second try at the candy cane bread isn't as perfect as the picture in the newspaper.

And it won't matter if I don't get my Christmas cards mailed out until April (it won't be the first time).  Here's what I think.  I think it's going to be a perfect Christmas anyway.  It's going to be perfect because we are all going to be together.................................. and I'm not a cow out on the range in the blowing snow with my butt pointed to the wind.



abby rose said...

That really makes you appreciate everything in life. I am so excited to be there for the stress-free Christmas. And I don't think it will be the "last for awhile". I may miss snow. And you absolutely must experience Christmas Day on the beach. Talk about stress free...

Lesley Collins said...

Does Dean want to wrap my presents? I managed to make all my Christmas cards but not get to anything else.

Al said...

Geeze, cathy. That one dang near brought a tear to my eye. Except I kept coming back to the nerds comment. Excuse me... comments. Plural. And while I'm at it, unless Dave has multiple personality disorder, you only work for one nerd. ;-)

Art Elser said...

Well ... I'm glad that I'm the only one whose recollections of those long ago days is somewhat skewed and lost in a fog of forgetfulness.

Yeah ... perfect ... sure, Cathy. How easily we forget all the stress of Christmases past. Mostly because we're with those we love most.

And I can almost remember when Al wasn't a nerd. Can't speak for Dean since I only met him once, and then for just a minute or so. ;-D