Watching the freeway blur past me as we drove home in our car I realized that we were traveling on the first Sunday in Advent.
"Too far behind." I thought to myself. Our trip to my hometown of Boise came suddenly, unexpectedly to attend a Celebration of Life service for the passing of a dear friends mother. My plans for Thanksgiving weekend put on the back burner. I was so grateful that I could be there to support my friend - to catch up with her in person, to take her out to dinner and make the kind of small talk only lifelong friends know how to, even in the face of loss. But as we sped home last night I couldn't help but think of all the things we hadn't done.
Thanksgiving dishes still on the counter. Clothes strewn about from careless packing. Autumn decorations up, Christmas decorations still in boxes. Delayed Etsy orders to finish and get out to wonderfully understanding customers.
So this morning, when I woke up and surveyed the mess that was my home I took a deep breath and went straight to box that held my favorite Christmas decoration. Our nativity set.
New to us last year, I found this fabulous set on Etsy at
Jalu Toys and I knew it was the set I had been searching for.
We had a perfectly functioning nativity set - A ceramic one made by Snow Village. And while it was beautiful, it wasn't very practical with a toddler. I wanted something natural, something warm, something my son could hold on to, touch, and learn about without the fear of breaking, or adults pushing little fingers out of the way.
And it was at Jalu Toys that I found it
This morning, as I unwrapped each piece, my son stared, wide eyed in wonder. "Pretty Mama." He said as I pulled out the camels.
"Oh! Mama!" He exclaimed as The Holy Family was put into place. "A baby!"
And while the rest of the house still sat in shambles, while dishes lay in the sink and clothes decided they didn't want to wash themselves we sat together quietly looking at the nativity set. And I pondered my thought yesterday with irony, "Too much to do."
The important work has already been done. Whatever burdens I feel during the holiday are of my own creation. In this season of joy, I vow to slow down. To remember the true meaning behind Christmas. It's not about presents, or the perfect Christmas dinner, or parties to attend, or hundreds of cards to get out (which - by the way family - if you're reading this, I'm giving myself a pass on Christmas cards this year.) It's about remembering family, spending time with them. Loved ones. Togetherness. And if you celebrate more than a secular Christmas season as we do, it's about that tiny little baby born in a manger.
Yours in preparation,
Oh...and while you're pondering the meaning of the holiday season - please take a moment to check out Gardenmamas latest giveaway from Imagination Childhood.