So many blessings to be thankful for. I need to keep writing them down. My gratitude journal sits nearby but I have not been very good at putting pen to paper.
#365. The pitter-patter of rain on this Black Friday.
I sit with my skinny peppermint mocha and desktop evergreen gazing at the silhouetted trees from my upstairs window. All is quiet in my household; four happily bundled males fast asleep after a late night of online gaming. At 2 AM I could still hear the shouts of glee as the middle son defeated his father. The eldest was asleep in his blanket on the couch as I kissed the youngest son goodnight/morning. I was reminded to wake him up early for our decorating fest; he is my impish Christmas elf. Now that Thanksgiving has officially passed Christmas is allowed into our household.
I sat amongst family on Thanksgiving as my sister-in-law hustled about her kitchen making everything perfect. She was functioning on two hours of sleep and was stressed. All of her preparations and timing succumbed to the road hazards of life. There is always some wrench that gets thrown into the works to derail even the most organized, efficient person. I poured her a glass of wine and wished I had the “How to cook a turkey” list to read to her. I will have to remember this while I cook the bird on Christmas eve BIG LOL. I had read it aloud to the hubs on Wednesday and the middle son commented, that is sooooo, YOU, Mom.
As I type my bff texts from 2,000 miles away if I have survived turkey day and shopping. When I tell her I’ve been there and done that she responds, “Wow really? Thought u swore off Black Friday?” It is 9:25 am and although I went to bed at 2 am; happily awoke this morning and was out the door at 7. Last evening we drew names for our gift exchange and the person whose name I drew shared what she hopes her Santa will bring. The scavenger in me succumbed. Since this is one of the two gifts I have to purchase, I might as well get it for a deal; the hubs full-heartedly agreeing with me.
Christmas cheer is spreading. When I reminded the hubs that the Christmas decor needed to be put out, this weekend, he groaned. Our weekend is already full but the youngest joined the conversation. He enthusiastically asked when the trees would be brought out, could he watch Christmas DVDs and eat his candy cane? As the lights reflected off the windshield I saw the hubby’s demeanor thaw; a slight smile in the dark. I chattered away as we talked about Thanksgiving dinner and we both thought ahead to the eve when it is our turn to host. For those of you who know my hubs, the anti-shopper, I must note that he drove me, at 10 PM, to my local crafts store after Thanksgiving dinner. We were both wide-awake as I chose greenery and ribbons at discounted prices. I emerged forty minutes later…the shopper ecstatic. For years I have coveted the metallic chargers for place settings and I got them for $0.70 each! As we drove past our Target store the parking lot was FULL. It was 10:45 PM on Thanksgiving.
I struggle. I am purchasing items to make my home inviting for family as I rediscover my hospitable self, once again. How do I balance the materialism/consumerism with what is really important? I have already failed!!! As the hubs always likes to point out, why does it always have to entail spending money? I can’t help myself. The advertisers have got my number and really are genius at pulling the money from my pocketbook. I was outraged when I discovered stores were opening at 6 PM on our sacred Thanksgiving evening. But while our full, distended stomachs digested on protein and tryptophan, after eight hours of being with family; walking off dinner while shopping was just what I needed. I would much rather scavenge late at night versus waking up early the next morning to sit in line. It seems everyone else had the same idea. S.u.c.k.e.r.
I can’t buy hospitality. It isn’t supposed to be about showcasing your home or the perfect meal. It’s about fellowship. Tradition. Honoring my faith.
I cringe as I look at the picture above. With my framed note to remember the real reason of Christmas sits my Starbucks cup. For the hubs this coffee chain symbolizes capitalism at its finest. Over-priced coffee, beautiful wrap (the red cup and holiday decor), brand name recognition. I am addicted to this lifestyle…the over-spending, caffeine/shopping induced high as I frenetically try to keep pace. I’m doing a poor job of creating space to create peace. I can’t seem to get off the merry-go-round and sit still amongst the noise of our society to create my own quiet place. How do I step off this dizzying ride?
Life isn’t a bowl of cranberries. I continue to sort through my life trying to mark my space; the hubs beside me.
Grant me grace. To get off this pace. To find my place. To create space.