Monday, December 19, 2011

Seventy-five percent to Christmas

I’m about seventy-five percent ready for Christmas.

I’ve done about seventy-five percent of my Christmas shopping, but my Santa role requires me to take one or two more trips to the nearest retail hub.

I’m about seventy-five percent done with our Christmas cards, too: the newsletter-poem has been drafted and designed, and about one-third of those we’ll send out have been printed, but we need to make a Staples run for another printer cartridge and then print all the envelopes as well before they’re done.

My Christmas cooking and baking feels about seventy-five percent done. I’ve made truffles, toffee, peanut butter squares and peppermint bark for the candy assortments we make up for friends, neighbors and teachers, but I still have to make a peppermint cake for Rick’s office potluck later this week, and I need to make a couple of desserts for Christmas Eve as well.

The house itself seems about seventy-five percent to where I’d like it to be when Christmas Day arrives. It’s generally clean and tidy, but Holly’s room is still a disaster zone, and I definitely want to have it tidied up by Christmas. Not to her standards; to mine, which means I’ll be doing the tidying more or less on my own. Plus there’s one laundry basket of clean sheets and towels yet to fold.

Christmas is six days away. That last twenty-five percent niggles a little bit, but I’ll get there. It’s not such a bad position to be in right now. Christmas is, after all, only as complicated as you make it. The idea that we need to include four kinds of homemade candy rather than two or three, or that Holly’s room must be neat when Christmas morning dawns, or even what should be included in the kids’ stockings, is an idea entirely of my own construct, I realize.

What does it really take to celebrate Christmas? An eagerness to embrace the holiday, whether that means with all its religious significance or rather Christmas as a cultural celebration of family, friends and feasting.

There are plenty of people in the world without children for whom to buy stocking stuffers, parties for which to make desserts, family members for whom to plan a holiday dinner. Christmas festivities are ultimately whatever you make of them. I’m making a lot out of Christmas because I can. And that makes the final twenty-five percent feel entirely worthwhile, no matter how much it may seem to hang over my head.

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