For many years now, I have been creating our family Christmas card. It always includes an original drawing or painting, the blah-blah-boring family update (you know, little Johnny got a tooth, Stevie committed arson...), and of course, several over-the-top, braggy pix of my gorgeous brats. I got it done early this year, as in "not the day before Christmas". I have not printed them yet (what's the hurry, right?), so you get a preview, and if you're on my mailing list, this may even save me a stamp!
It's a tradition.
I have been thinking a lot about traditions. Kathy (you remember, buff Kathy, workout partner extraordinaire?) has invited our family to a couple of her family's advent celebrations. She and Hubby Wayne gather their little chickens around them on the four Sundays before Christmas to sing, read stories and eat goodies by fire and candlelight. Each time we leave, I am recommitted to trying harder to focus on that whole reason-for-the-season thing. But by Monday, those old demons creep back in, the ones that whisper to me to be stressed out, to stop trying, and to give up on getting my family to get along, treat each other with kindness and start thinking about the needs of others.
I guess I have made a tradition out of being overwhelmed at Christmas.
I did do things this year to leave that history behind me. I worked on Christmas projects all year. I began listening to carols after Thanksgiving. I even got excited to decorate this time around. But old habits die hard. I may have over-reached a little, thinking I could fix my whole broken tannenbaum all in one year.
But it is a little better, at least. Baby steps.
And hey, you already got my Christmas card, so we're good.