Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wifey Wednesday: Enjoy the Holidays

Nothing says frantic to me quite like the Pinterest and magazine spreads of November and December. Those glamor shots of centerpieces and perfectly pinched pie crusts, ornately wrapped homemade gifts arranged artfully on a tray for the guests of a festive formal holiday party with signature drinks and home-baked gingerbread houses as decor are the peer pressure of the digital age. Even if you do manage to pull off a party mid-December, the pictures pointedly ask you, "Did you take the time to individually wrap your antique book collection with color coordinated wrapping paper to add punch and sizzle to your bookshelves? No? Well, we won't judge."

"Nobody breathe until I get a picture of this for the website!" 

My advice for the holidays is to remember them for what they really are: holy days. This time of year is the time we stop in wonder at the miracles of God. There was enough oil for one night and it lasted for eight. There was a moment when God became flesh. It's a wonder. Let's just wonder.

Sure, it's nice to celebrate that with food. Who doesn't celebrate with food? Just remember that you and your family are celebrating with God and His larger family. Don't worry about making a perfect celebration, just make a celebration. Perfection isn't our lot in this life. Relax and tone down your menu to foods your kids will actually eat. If nobody likes turkey, serve roast beef. If nobody likes to cook, order in pizza. It's your family. It's your celebration. Enjoy it.

"So dinner's running late, at least no one
will see me in curl…oh, the doorbell!"

If you, like me, enjoy the cooking and the hours of preparation and aftermath in the kitchen, remember to factor in the fact that the baby will create a hazmat diaper, the five year old will toss a tantrum, and all the kids will want to help, dinner's going to be at 2:30 and not noon, at least one pie will be burnt, and the cousin from Wisconsin will not have the manners to refrain from criticizing the biscuits. "Yes," you'll be forced to agree, "Memaw's biscuits are better than mine." Just let it be.

That's my advice. Just let it be. No matter if half your family is down with the flu for Christmas, no matter if half your New Year's Eve guests invited their own guest, no matter if the toddler stripped down to her all-together while no one was watching and marched down the aisle at Midnight Mass, that's how this particular celebration is turning out. Just let it be. (Do redress that girl, though, it's cold out.)

Relax. Have a sense of humor about it. Enjoy it. The flubs are half the fun anyway. The baby will need to be fed when the turkey button popped. Go ahead and take the turkey out and then sit and feed the baby while the meat rests. It's okay. Christ was a baby once. He's not going to mind if dinner's late. If Uncle Joe mangles the carving and there's not a piece of meat bigger than a chopstick, does it really change the fact of Christ incarnate?

Just let it be. All of this is your story for this year. You celebrated and it wasn't perfect. My family lives on the Great Plains of America, beauty here is found in the vast expanse of sky and grass or it is found in the close ups of the prairie primrose, but in between is the thistle and the goat head. You don't see those when you get real close and you don't see them when you take in the vastness of it all. If you crave perfection, think of the big picture: God incarnate, God's miraculous light. Or get in really, really close. Some years, that particular candle next to that poinsettia is as close to perfection as you can get.

Have a Happy!


This has been a Wifey Wednesday post. For an even wifier Wednesday click on over to To Love Honor and Vacuum!

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