2018 flew by so quickly, I can hardly believe that it’s New Year’s Eve! It’s also the seventh day of Christmas, so we still have our Christmas tree up and are doing our best to celebrate, though the return of “regular life” next week is looming over me, making it a bit difficult.
I have a habit of setting mental goals and deadlines and building them up too much in my mind, and they end up stressing me out. Many areas of my life have been screaming out for change, and here I sit, wondering if I can do it. I suspect I’m not alone in this. But we can do it, can’t we? We can return to ordinary time, ordinary duties, ordinary lives and do our best with what we have.
Christmas so far has been full. In the days leading up to Christmas Eve, Jonny painted our living room, my request being that it be finished in time to decorate the tree on Christmas Eve, as is our custom. We ended up with our largest tree ever this year, nearly twelve feet tall! Best of all, it was free, picked up from a thrift store parking lot late on the 23rd.
Christmas Eve was a full day, but it’s my favorite of the season. I spent the morning grocery shopping because I can’t ever seem to get so organized that I don’t need groceries last minute. Keats, Larkspur, and Beatrix had to be at church at 2 p.m. to rehearse. My girls sing in the children’s choir at the 4 pm vigil Mass and this year Keats played an organ prelude. Though he’s played piano for many years, he only started organ lessons last summer, and he was nervous about playing, though I might have been even more nervous for him! My friend, and his longtime piano teacher, Eve, was there with me to see him play. And though I was forbidden (by Keats) to record him playing, my friend Lori captured some of it, including his organ teacher patting him on the back with a, “Bravo” afterwards. He played it perfectly, and I was so proud of him. This might have been my favorite Christmas Eve ever. I tucked the program with Keats’ name next to the words, “In dulci Jubilo” and “organ” away for safekeeping.
Christmas morning was very sweet, and I managed to surprise my younger children with their gifts. It was somewhat quiet and simple to the extent it can be with a houseful of children. Jonny and I prepared a big Christmas dinner, and later that day, I picked up one of my closest friends from the airport for a lovely Christmas visit. I spent most of the week with her, and Jonny took the kids out a couple of times so that we could have a quiet house. It was very good.
Yesterday was my 41st birthday, which we celebrated very simply and quietly, and tonight we will welcome the New Year with friends, though I’m not too keen on staying up late!
I hope that you all are having a wonderful season of celebrations, and I wish you the best in 2019.
p.s. The only Christmas knitting I did was a doll sweater, and three sets of doll shoes. I did finally finish Beatrix’s birthday dress, a couple days before Christmas. I’ll share photos soon! And, in case you are wondering, the bows and arrows my boys have in the photos are from Nova Natural-here’s the link. And the book that is open in Larkspur’s lap is Dangerous Journey (an abridged, illustrated Pilgrim’s Progress). We’ve owned it in the past, but it was loved to pieces and we needed a new copy to read to our younger children.