Christmas arrives in 8 days. Whether I'm ready or not. And I'm not.
I have my shopping about 80% done. The Christmas letters have been printed and folded. They just need to be stuffed and stamped. There is still no furniture in the living room We plan on lugging the old couch that is stored at the new house over here and pulling up some old end tables from the basement to create a makeshift living space for Christmas morning when the kids come over to open presents.
The tree is up. But not much else. I still have several bins stacked in the near empty living room but I'm not sure how much will make its way to the rest of the house. I'm simplifying this year and it feels so very strange. Usually I have this little ritual where I turn on some Christmas music, pour myself a glass of wine and hum my way through the decorating process. It always begins with the tree and turns into a day long ordeal. It's so much fun. Especially when it's all over and I light the tree, burn some candles and bask in the glow of Christmas.
About two hours into the decorating process, I get the stockings out - three large stockings that I carefully made for each of my girls when they were very little and I had time to linger in my sewing room. Back in the day when I used to sew three matching outfits for them each Christmas and Easter....in the throws of young motherhood when our engery is boundless and is only equalled by our dreams.
This part is always bittersweet because inside one of the stockings, tucked deep inside the toe, are two little note cards with handwritten messages - one from me to my mom and the other to my late husband. Each was written as a tribute of sorts. The one to my mom - the Christmas just before she died and the other to my husband - my first Christmas without him. They were written only for my eyes. Before I hang the stockings I take them out, read them, cry, pour myself a second glass of wine and resume decorating. I guess it makes me feel as if in some small way - each is still somehow a part of the Christmas at hand.
I don't know if I'll get everything up this year. I'm working over 60 hours this week. And there are loose ends to be tied up at the new house. And cookies to be baked. And presents to be wrapped. And parties to attend. And stockings to be hung....