i can't wait until christmas is over

there.  i said it.  it's out.  i know, it sounds very scrooge-like, doesn't it?

it's christmas eve. i remember as a kid feeling so excited when december 24th rolled around, because the next day was the day that i got to finally dig into the pile of presents under the tree.  now, the truth is, i can't help but look forward to christmas being over.

well...that's how i feel some days.  the holiday season is probably the most challenging time of year for our family.  every year.  for maybe the past 10 years.

once the month of december starts, i pretty much don't see my husband until christmas.  we pretty much write-off the month of december.  i mean, i get it.  he's in a job where the busiest time of year just happens to be christmas time (kind of like accountants have their busiest time during tax season). but it can get hard.  yes, there's the hard part of single-parenting it for 2 weeks, and the lack of sleep (mostly for aaron), and watching the kids only see their dad one or two days a week for 2 weeks straight, and not really being able to make any holiday plans, and being totally beat by the time christmas rolls around so that you don't want to do anything but sit around in your pajama pants and eat cookies all day.  and of course this year, my husband gets to work christmas day.  what a treat! and you wonder why i can't wait until christmas is over.

but whatever.  we can make plans for family gatherings another day (i like thanksgiving because we get to share a big feast with our extended family).  the kids are very understanding, and post-christmas they get to see him more often again.  and who says we have to do the present opening stuff on the 25th?  that isn't what defines christmas anyway. 

no, that's not really the hard part.  the hardest part is keeping myself from becoming bitter, grumpy, and turning into a full-blown grinchy scrooge.  those holiday songs about christmas being the most wonderful time of the year, gathering with family, blah, blah, blah.  i really can't relate anymore.  it's busy, exhausting and trying.  every year.  how can i think it's the most wonderful time of the year full of happiness and cheer?  my husband is working on christmas not because he is saving lives, helping people in need or serving the community.  he's working on christmas day because he is serving the needs of others who must have their christmas presents on christmas day otherwise it will be ruined forever.

see, right there, that kind of attitude, is what i have to watch for every year.  fight it off.  repel it with an anti-scrooge repellent.  but i feel it trying to creep in.  every year, i sense it trying to get its foot in the door all sneaky-like.  and if i'm not careful, it will let itself in and completely consume me.  then i really will turn into scrooge-grinch lady.

after writing this out, i now see how i've managed to keep from being bitter about christmas.  no, it's not the anti-scrooge repellent.  it's because i have hope.  as a family, we celebrate christmas because it is the birth of jesus.  god, who humbled himself to take on human form so that he can grow up for the sole purpose of sacrificing his own life for us.  no matter who we are or what we've done. no matter how much i've screwed up, i can be confident in the fact that god will forgive me and loves me...to the point that he gave up his life for me.  how can i be grumpy, when i think about that?  christmas is just the beginning of the celebration. 

i'm not going to lie, some days are still going to suck, and i'll probably find myself looking forward to christmas being over, but i know what makes our christmas wonderful.  i can still find little bits of joy scattered through out the holiday season, because i have hope and peace thanks to god and his work in me. 

we have been preparing our hearts all month long, and tomorrow we celebrate.  big or small, all day, half the day...it doesn't really matter.  go have yourself a merry little christmas.  because i sure will.


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