‘Tis The Season


HELLLLOOOO!!! It feels like an eternity since I last posted. December has been moving so fast, I just want to slow it down for one second to catch my breath! For the last three weeks it has been non-stop basketball for my youngest son. I always enjoy watching the kids grow as athletes, but this was crazy around the holidays to have such an intense schedule. Thank God it is over!!

For the first time in 14 years I am working again around the holidays and that has been a big adjustment. I used to be free to go about my holiday hustle and bustle whenever I wanted to. Being on the clock again, it’s a bit painful to have to calculate every second of your time to figure out where you have to be, when you have to be there, how long it takes to get there, and so on and so on.  I know that is reality and the way things work but I am not used to it. Not on a daily basis, and not around Christmas!

Trust me, I don’t spend my time lounging exactly. My world of running the Household is no easy task, and it certainly isn’t for the weak! Grandma Virge, my husbands grandmother on his fathers side, once visited us and said, “Andrea, you run a tight ship.”

It touched me that she noticed the effort I put into caring for my family and home. I just cannot function in chaos and for my sanity, things have to be orderly. And right now, if you were to come over you would wonder if I was OK!! LOL! Things are totally not orderly at all!  Know what this experience has taught me?  That it’s alright!  Later today I will get it back to where it should be but I need a literal time out for a moment to feel the Christmas spirit before it passes me by.

I was telling my friend at work that I didn’t feel Christmasy yet. Like this is Illinois I live in and we have no snow. NONE!!! It’s so hard to get in the Christmas mood when there is no snow. I probably only feel like that because I was born and raised here. I still wonder what it’s like to live somewhere warm and experience Christmas. It’s on the bucket list!

Louie owning the tree.

Last night I finally got the lights on my tree. Actually, this Wednesday I finally got the tree at Sam’s Club of all places after one of our basketball games. It was only $24!! What a steal! It’s a Douglas Fir and I love those. I can’t stand prickly trees. The firs are nice and soft. As I was putting the lights on it started to come to me. The Christmasy feels. It is all about Jesus being the light of the world. Jesus is love and light. Some people will argue about religion and I don’t really care what anyone else believes. You are free to choose or not and it’s not for me to tell you. Even if it is a story, and none of it is real, I can’t deny the principles of love and compassion. The gift of forgiveness. No other person in the existence of time and understanding has ever taught forgiveness and it is crucial in survival with other humans. For each of us is just that, only human. And we are always capable of messing up from time to time. We learn the most often from the things we wish we didn’t do or say to others.

So in putting on these lights, I thought about something that happened earlier in the day where I had to guide my son through a situation with a friend of his. Boys sometimes like to play around and when it goes too far, well, you know what testosterone and being embarrassed can do. This is one of the perks of working for the school as I saw everything in real time and could talk to my son with great insight. His friend was totally remorseful and in need of forgiveness. As much as I felt for my son, I felt for the other boy as well. You see things in people’s eyes and you know when it’s truth. I told my son, look you need to forgive that kid. He is totally sorry. And he knew it to be true as well and within minutes was forgiving and forgetting and playing on XBox live with him like nothing ever happened.

This was the start of feeling what Christmas is about. Being kind to others. And thinking about what it means to forgive someone. Peace. It really is a gift and literally felt in your heart.

This morning I wanted to carry on the feelings with a little something we have been doing forever. This simple little simmering pot of orange and apple slices, a sprig of the tree, whole cloves and cinnamon. I had the little blue metal pot since our first apartment in 1995! It quickly brings about the smells of Christmas and all the memories that go with it. I really needed that to unwind and get in the frame of mind.

This really is a magical, most wonderful time of the year. There will always be reality and crappy things happening in the world. Times we wonder what is the world coming to? Or times we lose the people we love. And it hurts. But then out of nowhere, some light and kindness come your way. Cherish those moments because they are the purest of gifts.

Speaking of gifts, our customers got their annual cookie platters this week. Every year, the process of rocking out hundreds of cookies is tweaked and improved. This year I am proud to say there were no cookie casualties! I’ve got it down to a science. I hope by next year, I am able to start early and have enough left over to sell.  I’ll let the cookies speak for themselves in their own posts later. For now it looks like Target is calling me to return some ugly fake wreaths I purchased. Once you start using fresh greenery, the fake wreath just doesn’t cut it. Sorry fake wreaths! I don’t mean to hurt your feelings! I believe whatever nature puts in your path is what you use and that is the most beautiful thing of all.

Gotta run!  I’ll be back in a few!











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