The most wonderful time of the year started with me having an intestinal bug so severe My Beloved stayed home from work to care for Baby Henry because I was too sick to get out of bed. Today, with all the kids home and so full of mischief (as a euphemism for the words I'd like to use) even threats of calling Santa, the naughty list, or No Christmas celebration at all, have fallen on, pardon the pun, deaf ears.
I instituted a mandatory nap time, so everyone is currently taking some time out in their rooms, and I began to clean out the microwave (I suspect my parents notice my sometimes icky microwave, so I clean it before they come). I suddenly had thoughts of the most perfect mother, Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus. How "perfect" was she feeling 9 months pregnant all those years ago? I know that Christmas tests my marriage, can you imagine the position she was in and the strain on their relationship? Remember, God chose for his son to be born to real people, she must have had a little heartburn or a few cravings, and we know Joseph had some doubts about his gal too, it's even in the bible.
So in my imaginings, Mary was a little stressed, and maybe even a little snippy with old Joseph, and I am going to give myself a break. Sweet, flour-covered, apron wearing mothers are rarely just that, and if they are, they are trying to sell me something in 60 seconds, I'm on to you Betty Crocker.
I am going to try to give up worry about the perfect outfit to wear to my in-laws, or if I have some new recipe to dazzle my dad, or the absolute ideal of a gift to present to my mother. I am going to let go of my need to have all the presents wrapped and the glass surfaces of my home fingerprint free before my sisters newest beau comes over. Will he remember me for my clean glass surfaces? Unlikely.
I am going to look to someone else this Christmas season for inspiration, instead of combing through Martha Stewart magazines for a recipe, I'm going to take a minute to be thankful to the ultimate mom and remember, whether it's the cleanest house or a manger made of hay, Christ's birth is coming and people are coming to visit and I should be thankful I have a partner to help with the small talk.
The apple and the tree
2 months ago