Christmas Deadlines

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

“Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons.” – Ruth Ann Schabacker.

December is almost here. That means Christmas is right around the corner with all the traditional activities. There’s the reason for the season – the birth of the Savior. That’s good to keep in the center of our thoughts. Shepherds in the field watching their flocks. Angels singing on a starry night. A baby born in a stable and laid in a manger. Wise men bringing gifts. Beautiful images of the greatest gift. Christmas carols and songs that make those holy goosebumps crawl up your back. Kids in bathrobes being shepherds and wise men. Sparkling lights and decorated houses.
I love Christmas. Really I do. It’s just that it has gotten so it comes around so much faster than it used to. Every two of three months or so it seems. And it’s like having a bunch of new deadlines. The getting the cards in the mail deadline. Shopping for gifts deadline. Decorating trees deadline. Baking cookies deadline. Wrapping those gifts deadline. As mothers and grandmothers, we feel like it’s up to us to keep the traditions going. Our mothers did it. Our grandmothers did it. So we must do the same. We want to get the gifts that will bring smiles. We want to cook all the favorite foods. We want to make the day perfect for everybody.
It’s that making things perfect deadline that is so hard to meet. As much as we want to make things perfect, that rarely happens. The tree is a bit crooked on its stand. The rolls are a little overdone. The cake cracks in the middle. The sweater doesn’t fit. The toy doesn’t entrance. Santa forgets to buy batteries. Somebody comes down with a virus and spends Christmas in the bathroom. You get the idea. All those things have happened to us at some Christmas in the past. But this Christmas you still want things to be perfect. You want Aunt Suzy and Uncle Bill not to argue about politics. You want the kids to be sweet and generous and not overtired and cranky. You want to eat that piece of jam cake with the caramel frosting and not think about the extra five pounds you’re going to have to lose next week. You want to say, “Yes, Virginia. There is a Santa Claus.” And so each December you wipe away the less than perfect memories and remember all the wonderful times. You might not remember your favorite gift, but you remember how you felt because you felt loved. That’s the tradition we’re all trying to hang on to. The tradition of love.
Hope you’ll meet all your deadlines and find those perfect gifts and most of all that the warm feeling of love will wrap around your family and then it won’t matter so much if Aunt Suzy and Uncle Bill don’t think alike on politics. They’re family and they’re loved. Enjoy the gift of each and every day.