Last night my husband and I sent the Court Jester to Family Reading Night at school.
Without his family.
Prince Charming was helping with our church Christmas program, and Princess Ella rushed through two different rehearsals. Where was I? Starbucks. At a meeting. What was I doing while I was meeting? Sewing pointe shoes.
At least I was surrounded by women I love, and there was coffee.
Did I mention my son went to a family night without his family?
Yeah. The mom guilt was thicker than my grandmother’s fruitcake. Even though my meeting was for my daughter’s ballet school and I was sewing her ballet shoes, the Court Jester still got lost in last night’s seasonal shuffle.
‘Tis the Season for Crazy.
We all know it. We all experience it. We all attempt to stop it.
This week, I’ve lived through four late nights, three long meetings, two stacks of essays, and a partridge in a pear tree. My crazy is normal.
After leaving my meeting last night, I walked to the car, pulled the handle, and opened the door. It wasn’t until I was half-way in that I realized the car wasn’t mine. Yeah. I’m that woman this time of year.
Or maybe I’m that woman all year.
Ella will turn 14 in less than a month. This morning? That sweet child of mine continued to give me grief for not having an Elf on the Shelf when she was younger. The Court Jester continues to talk about Snowflake, his classroom Elf.
Caleb – Why can’t we have one, mom? Because he freaks me out. Who wants a creepy Elf staring at them all day?
Ella – Well, when I have kids, I’m doing Elf on the Shelf for them. That’s fantastic darling. You’ll do an amazing job, and your children will be the luckiest in the world. (unlike you, apparently…)
I told Ella I was just making sure she would get her money’s worth as an adult when she has to seek counseling for all the ways we screwed up her childhood.
(Side-note: I’m not anti-Shelf-Elf for any other house—just mine. Only because I couldn’t possibly keep up with moving an elf every night when it’s evident I can’t recognize my own car.)
Every Christmas I race into the madness and promise myself I won’t do it again.
Then I break my promise.
Year. After year.
I want the slow and the nights of hot cocoa while drinking in the lights adorning our tree. But slow is not the reality in this season of my life. I have a teenager and a seven year old. I’m a teacher with mountains of papers to grade. I’m in love with a man whose responsibilities equal my own. Slow isn’t really an option.
Sure, there is the busy of my life I can control—and I do. I have learned to say no. (Halleluiah. Amen.)
Still, there is the busy of my life I can’t control.
The slowing and breathing in of Christmas is beautiful. I’ve written about it every year. I crave the quiet moments of the season when I draw my children near, and we whisper of the newborn King.
But this year? I’ve realized that just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I can’t embrace this magical time.
Because Christmas is woven into the very fabric of my life.
And my life? It’s messy. It’s crazy. It’s chaotic.
It’s also beautiful.
Christmas exists with or without my crazy. One might even say Christ was born because of my crazy, because of my broken. The more hectic my life gets, the more I need my Savior—my Emmanuel—my God with me.
The meaning of Christ’s birth is threaded into my soul—knitted together with all I do and all I am.
Christmas resonates in the middle of my frenzy. There will be scattered moments of stillness, but mostly I will be keeping pace with the hustle and bustle. In the midst, Christmas will be there. It’s always there. Because the Joy of this season is the Gift lying in a manger sent because my Creator loved this world with all He had.
My Christmas may be a bit crazy, but the true beauty of this season isn’t lost.
Rather, I need it more.
So I choose to see, even when life won’t slow.