Monday, November 28, 2011

A little like Scrooge

            I have a confession to make.  I have not been really looking forward to Christmas.  Back in October, when the first realization of the upcoming Christmas season hit me, I felt a sense of mild dread.  All I could think about was:

·     the same old Christmas music on practically every radio station on my car pre-sets (does anyone else loath that upsetting song about the dying mother and her special Christmas shoes, or that inappropriate song about “Baby, it’s cold outside” as much as I do?), 

·     the crowded traffic I would have to fight and the long lines I’d have to stand in at Wal-Mart when all I need is a bottle of shampoo or a case of diapers, 

·     the stress of trying to find time to do some shopping when my children are with me ALL THE TIME,  

·     trying to find a better place for the Christmas tree but probably  having it take up all the space in my classroom, forcing the kids and I to be creative in where we do our work each day,  

·     to-do lists, and Christmas card lists, and the children’s wish lists, and junk mail asking for charitable donations for charities I have never and would never support, and special Christmas sale coupons and catalogs, catalogs, catalogs, etc. etc. etc. cluttering my countertops.  

I was feeling quite a bit like Scrooge as I thought about all the chaos and madness the season brings with it.

    Then, last week after Thanksgiving had passed, I started really thinking about everything I needed to do to get ready for the rapidly approaching beginning of Advent.  I had to get the Advent wreath out of the storage bins in the garage,  pull out our Advent prayers, find our version of “O come, O come Emmanuel” amidst my children’s recent MP-3 downloads on the computer, and get our Jesse tree ornaments ready.  As I thought about it, I realized-- I was not dreading these things at all.  In fact, the more I thought about praying our beautiful Advent prayers before our wreath with (this week) one purple candle glowing and our Advent music playing in the background and the scent of incense wafting through the kitchen, the more I was filled with joy.   When we went to Mass on Sunday and sang (just like we would later at home) “O come, O come Emmanuel” and saw the church all decked out in purple and listened as the priest blessed the Advent wreath and watched the lighting of the first candle, I was filled with even more joy.

     It seems a little silly because it should have been so obvious but it was not Christmas season I was dreading, it was all the distractions that come with the season.  I was dreading the busyness and craziness and materialistic commercialism-- not the joyful anticipation of our Savior’s birth, or the beautiful, peaceful preparations we make in our Church, our home, and our hearts.  It is the preparations that are spiritual and meaningful that I look forward to each year and it is all that other stuff that I sometimes dread. 

I still wish I could avoid the streets and the stores this month but since that is probably not possible…….  I guess I should just offer up those unavoidable trips to Wal-Mart for diapers and focus most of my energy on the stuff that really matters this time of year. 


  1. Oh, Kari--I laughed and cried through this! The beginning was hilarious, because I've been there, at Wal-mart....not being able to get any gifts because my kiddos are with me all the time too...that's the thing about homeschooling I think other moms who don't homeschool, don't understand, and it's usually good, but sometimes, it's hard.

    I went to Sam's Club (in a corner of our town filled with Walmart and Sam's Club) wasted 45 minutes driving there, parking, going in with 5 kiddos to pick up my Christmas Card pictures, which should have been done by Saturday...only to find that they lost my order. They showed it done, but couldn't find they are reprinting them....I tried to smile and say that's I waddled back to the van through the parking lot, with 5 kids in tow...but I so wanted to cry!!

    I have this desire to get it all done as soon as possible because of the baby!!

    I think these distractions are such a bother, because we know what it really is about and want that peace so much.

    Great post!

  2. Jamie- I can't believe you went through all that trouble to get everyone into Sam's to get the cards and then found out they messed up your order! Did they give you those cards for free, I hope?!?!?!?

    Good luck getting everything done in time! And, of course, good luck and lots of prayers for you and that wonderful little baby :)

  3. Oh, gosh, checking back....they goofed my order 2 more times, and I ended up getting 175 cards for $15 totally worth the trouble...some kind of glitch in their system and my order...took one guy, the only guy who knew how to fix it for it to turn out!!

    I would love to send you a card...if you feel comfortable with giving your me,
    jamiejo99 (at)

    I still really love this post and told all the ladies in my book club about it!! I think about those distractions and think about you!



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