In my former life, I was a family humor columnist. While I was rooting through some old Word documents, I uncovered this gem from eight years ago. Some things never change! I hope you enjoy this little Throwback Thursday!
It’s that time of year again. The fall decor gets pushed aside by all things red and green, the holiday music kicks in over PA systems everywhere, and the gift catalogs jam the mailboxes. And I, as I do every season, get overtaken by a rush of sentimentality and initiate grandiose plans to create lovely and personal gifts for everyone on my Christmas list.
Let’s see. Will I make some aromatic homemade candles this year? Yes! I’ll buy some scented oil and wax tomorrow. What about the pretty layered brownie mixes in quart jars, all tied with ribbon and a hand-stenciled recipe card? They’ll be great gifts for the teachers. And as soon as I can, I need to cut and dry the perennials from my flowerbeds, so I can make beautiful wreaths and pressed flower arrangements for my sisters.
There’s just one problem with all this: I am not what you would consider a domestic goddess. I rarely bake, unless you count Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls on Sunday mornings. When my kids need something sewn, they know they have to call Grandma. I don’t even own a sewing machine. And my attempts at anything craft-y usually end up in the garbage can. I was just not blessed with those skills. But still…
I can’t stop myself. There’s something uniquely motivational about the holiday season. All those home and garden shows touting the many ways you can decorate a home using only chunks of coal and pocket lint are enough to rouse my usually-dormant homemaking genes from their deep sleep. The magazine covers shout at me to bake seventeen kinds of cookies and share them at a cookie swap with neighbors I don’t even know. Yea, I must traipse over the river and through the woods to cut real greens in order to bring the authentic smell of Christmas to my home. That nativity scene hand-carved out of soap doesn’t look too tough to handle, does it? And of course it’s time to sit down and make elaborate, time-consuming mini-houses out of terrible-tasting dough and a variety of hard-to find-candy (so the cats have something enticing to shove off the counter tops tomorrow). Where’s the gingerbread?? My children scatter when I start posing these questions and my husband suspects I’ve been prematurely nipping into the eggnog. They try to talk me out of these attempts, but it’s too late. I am in a holiday planning frenzy and have already purchased yards of raffia ribbon and brown paper that I can hand-stamp for gift wrap, Martha-Stewart-style.
Now, I know in my mind that most of these projects will remain undone and un-created. It will get to be December 23rd, and with the clock ticking away, I will resort to gift cards and overnight deliveries from Amazon to round out the gift list. The raffia and quart jars will be stored in a basement cabinet, right next to last year’s “ ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” cross-stitch undertaking and the unfinished manger made entirely of pop can tabs. But in my heart, I know I am creating something greater: a genuine sense of anticipation and joy that comes from thinking about the ones I love and the many reasons I have to be thankful that Jesus Christ came as a baby to redeem us. And that’s more than enough.
Except for maybe a pan or two of homemade fudge shaped liked Christmas trees…
Happy Advent everyone!