I spent weeks preparing for Christmas. There was putting up the tree, setting the Christmas candles out, hanging the stockings, making the gingerbread house, baking the cookies, making our Christmas card, continually washing the tree skirt because the freaking cats kept peeing on it (bleeping cats), shopping and more. It seems like I spent a full month preparing for the holiday.
All that preparation for just a couple hours of family time while we eat dinner and open presents. By Christmas Eve I’m usually so exhausted it takes everything I’ve got not to fall asleep in the car while we are driving around looking at lights. By Christmas morning, when the kids are waking me up at the buttcrack of dawn, I have to force myself to get out of bed and put on a smile while I watch the kids open all the presents Santa brought them.
But it’s still all worth it. It’s still worth it to have the whole family together on Christmas Eve, eating soup, laughing and getting caught up. It’s worth it to see the kids excitement when we run in to Santa Claus on our trip to look at lights. [There's this house near my Grandma's house that has every inch of the yard decorated and Santa Claus stands in the driveway handing out candy canes.] It’s worth it to see the kids jumping up and down when they see that Santa came and brought them tons of presents. It’s worth it to see how thrilled they are when they open a gift to find exactly what they’ve been begging for for the last two months. It’s worth it to watch them dump out their stockings and squeal in delight.
Normally we’d take the decorations down around the first of the year. But this year we wanted to keep it all up until Justis got home and was able to open his presents.
He got home late Wednesday and opened his presents after school on Thursday. And then I got lazy and waited until today to finally take down the tree and put everything away.
What took a month of preparation was shoved in a big tub for next year in just twenty minutes. Our Christmas ended with just twenty minutes of cleanup. It’s kind of sad that all the fun of the holiday season, all of the baking, all of the family time, all of the time off work, all of the presents, ends in just a matter of minutes.
But it’s time to get back to old routines. I’m back to work. The kids are back to school. Sunday school has started again. Skyler’s dance and gymnastics classes are back on. Lee starts his classes this week. There are dentist appointments to be made (and hopefully I’ll remember to tell Lee about them). Doctor appointments to get to. It’s time to step out of the fairy tale the Christmas holiday brought us and step back in to reality. Even if reality isn’t quite as fun.