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My Spirit Season: Christmas


I love Christmas. 

Christmas is my spirit season.

Is that a thing? If we have spirit animals, can we have spirit holidays too?

(Sorry, Tax Day. You're nobody's spirit ANYTHING.)

I love the trees and the food and the decorations and the music and the snow (as long as it's only an inch in accumulation and melts the next day, but other than that, I'm not at all particular).

I love traditions and memories and family and taking all morning to open presents and giant Cracker Barrel-esque brunches and trash bags of wrapping paper and the clinking of wine bottles against glasses and how it used to take us roughly 11 weeks to handwash all of the Spode Christmas dishes after every meal (I'm looking at you, MOM!!)

(JK I love you)

(PS Can I have all that Spode when you don't want it anymore?)

(K Thanks)

(Sorry, sisters. You snooze you lose.).

I love it all.

(Side note: I hope that you all know this by now, but of course the thing I love most about Christmas is the remembrance and celebration of our Lord's birth.)

But, guys, it's December 5, and we don't have a tree.

I'm not saying that -- as Alicia Hutchinson called it -- "mama's lost her merry." I'm just learning that Advent teaches us to pace ourselves in all sorts of (immensely) humbling ways.

In reality, I'd love to have all sorts of people over for supper during the holidays. I'd like to make antipasto platters and cheeseballs in the shape in pinecones. But instead, I'm making a handful of freezer meals for friends who have their own stuff they're dealing with in life right now and dropping it off on their doorstep with reheating directions and the hope they enjoy just one night off from cooking.

I'd like to have my tree planted firmly in front of the window with the perfect tree topper situated just right and white lights glimmering in the snowy darkness outside. But instead, I'm trying to teach my one-year-old that he can't muscle the Christmas village around the house in his giant man hands.

I'd like to host a wrapping party and a soup swap and a cookie exchange. But instead, I'm taking my presents to my mom's house for her to help me wrap them, and making my own dang chili, and forgoing cookies this year because my husband introduced me to the deliciousness that is a pomegranate five years ago and those have just seemed so much more festive and exotic instead.

I'd like to go wander through the Christmas aisles at Target with my sisters, sucking down a mango smoothie from Panera and laughing so hard people start to look at us like we're weird. But instead, I Marco Polo them and they give me tours of their houses all decked out with beautiful decorations and then we all laugh and pretend we don't live on different continents. (Well, technically we don't but it basically feels that way if you want to get nosey about it.)

I'd like to pack the kids in the van and make them eat cheese sandwiches and carrot sticks like we had to do when we were kids while on our way to go Christmas shopping or caroling or to see the Christmas lights. But as it turns out, they're asleep by 7, so I turn on my own twinkly lights and eat a slice of American and call it a day.

Mama's not losing her merry this Advent. Mama's not even turning into Krampus.

I'm just being realistic about what's possible when little people are, well, little, and I don't think that's so bad.

Then again, compared to hearing Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is YoUUuuUUUUuuUU" for the 37th time today, nothing is bad. Nothing at all.

So here's to enjoying the holiday season -- its smells and tastes and sounds or complete lack thereof -- Spode dishes, soup swaps, cheese sandwiches and all!

How are you keeping it real this Advent and Christmas?


  1. I'm still waiting for the perfect tree topper to find its way to our Christmas tree. After 15 years of marriage, we still haven't found our "forever" tree topper.

  2. There are worse things that's for sure.
    Hopefully the thought that someday you too may have your children drying ALL the Spode dishes. Except that the new pieces are DISHWASHER SAFE!! How dare they!!
    'Tis the season to do unto others. . .


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