Posts Tagged ‘forget the small things’

By Aggi Stevenson


Today is Christmas 2008. How is your Christmas going? Are you looking forward to it just being over? Are you so frazzled and exhausted that you long ago forgot what Christmas is really about?


Every Christmas I trudge up two flights of stairs to retrieve endless Christmas decorations from the attic. I like to have my home completely decorated before Thanksgiving. I love having Thanksgiving dinner in the formal dining room with the huge Christmas tree in the foyer nearby seperated only by a couple of columns.  I wash all the Christmas dishes, glasses and serving pieces. I set the table with chargers under the plates and put a candle lit centerpiece on the table. The flickering candle light is reflective in the glasses.


The top of the cabinets and china cabinet are always adorned with greenery and lights. The stairs and banisters are wrapped with pre-lit garland, stockings are hung and Christmas towels are in the kitchen and baths. Electric candles are placed in every window of our three story house. The antique punch bowl, cups and glass ladle is perched on the kitchen island which is transformed into a drink table. Christmas scatter rugs lay in front of the range and sink.  The mantles are covered with lights and decorated garland. Six different Christmas trees are visible from various angles and wreaths hang on all the entrance doors. The electric deer family, trees and sleigh always sit on the lawn and icicle lights hang around the porch, deck and railings. There is a Christmas tree on the porch and the porch table is covered with a Christmas cloth and candles to burn at night.


Are you tired yet? If you are tired just reading about it, you should try doing it. I am not complaining because I love to decorate but this year something happened. I got sick. I did have the tree in the foyer up before Thanksgiving but that is about it. As the weeks wore on I got more and more frustrated because I didn’t feel sick enough to go to bed but I had no energy and the coughing was driving me crazy. I kept thinking I would get the decorating done a little later than normal but it would get done.  All the homes in my neighborhood became transformed with lights and ornamentation. My home remained dark at night.


Finally I brought down the two trees that flanked the fireplace in the family room. My husband brought the children’s tree down from the attic and set it on the second story bridge separating the foyer and family room. My six year old grand daughter was eager to decorate it. I always let the grand children decorate it and then I go back and re-arrange it after they are gone. They never catch on. However, the tree remained just the way she left it. I never did even hook up the lights. The third story tree and the tree that goes in my bedroom never made it out of the attic. The stairs and banisters were never decorated and the stockings were never hung. The Christmas towels are still packed and the punch bowl is put away. No wreaths were hung, candles were not put in the windows, the deer family, trees and sleigh are still in the barn and no icicle lights were hung around the porch, deck and railings. The Christmas tree for the porch was never thought of and the outside table was not decorated.


My daughter and daughter in law did my shopping as each day I thought I would feel better but never did. I wondered what the neighbors were thinking and what the grand children would think driving up to a dark house on Christmas Eve. I cooked on Christmas Eve and set the table along with the candle lit centerpiece. I turned on the tree in the foyer and the two in the family room. That was it. I had a choice. I could spend the day cooking or cleaning my house. Not both. I did some surface cleaning and decided to turn a blind eye to the rest of it. The vacuuming and dusting wasn’t done. My office looked like a bomb went off in it. I closed the door to it and pretended it wasn’t part of the house.  I got dressed for dinner and waited for my children and grandchildren to arrive and when they did, it was wonderful. We had a great time. The food was good and the grand children brought life to Christmas. We laughed and opened gifts with hugs and kisses. We took pictures and video of our precious time together. 


All too soon it was over. Our grown children wanted to get home and get in bed so they could have that magical Christmas morning at their homes with their children. No one asked about the missing lights, lawn ornaments, wreaths, or tree on the porch. No one seemed to notice the missing two trees inside the house or that the stockings were not hung down the staircase. The missing garland from the banisters and stairs were never mentioned. Nor was the naked mantle, window candles or antique punch bowl asked about. Not one person asked why the vacuuming and dusting had not been done and if they noticed the bathroom wasn’t shiny clean they never let on. My family was in and out of my office but didn’t seem to notice the clutter everywhere. 


God showed me that even though we enjoy certain things, they are nothing compared to family. Sometimes we just knock ourselves out with preparation for family gatherings when all they want is time together. So I wasn’t so busy this Christmas. Yes, I was frustrated because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do. God says, without me you can do nothing. I say, without God I am nothing.  I am looking on the bright side. I don’t have much to pack back up, take to the barn or return to the attic.  I was sort of behind before Christmas but now I am way ahead of the game.


I am standing because He is holding me up……….Aggi


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