We come back from Ohio the day after Thanksgiving in order to track down and purchase a 12-ft. tree on Saturday. Throughout the weekend, we haul out the decorations and get a good start on decking the halls.
The week is filled to the brim with cleaning and decorating, as the very next weekend we host a big, adults-only Christmas party.
From then on, it's all Christmas all the time. We bake, we shop, we wrap, we dance, we go to parties. We celebrate our hearts out all the way through, and Santa always makes an early visit just for us, seeing as how we always spend Christmas Eve and Day in Ohio.
We come back home a day or two after Christmas. Home to a dead tree, a mess of laundry and gifts to put away, and general unrest until I can get every bit of decoration back in the box from which it came.
For the last few years, I've been uncomfortable with this way of doing things.
We completely skip over Advent, and by the time the Christmas season is here, we're done with Christmas and ready to move on. Usually we move on to snow removal and some sort of indoor house project.
At church last weekend, the sermon was all about the first day of Advent being the first day of the new liturgical year. It is the perfect time to change something we want to change. And instead of making a resolution like people do on January 1st, he suggested we make a commitment.
This year, the unexpected kitchen renovation has put a big old red stop sign to our Christmas normal. What a blessing in disguise it has been. The experience has been the catalyst that I needed to change the way we do things. To make a commitment to doing things differently this year.
It is December 7, and we don't have a tree. In fact, we haven't pulled out a single decoration. We don't have a stove, so we haven't baked a single cookie.
Instead, I bought our family's first Advent "wreath" and a daily devotional book. (All for $18.) Instead of our usual daily readings, we've been going through this book at breakfast.
|Did you notice that it says "Joy"? I didn't until Star pointed it out three days after I bought it and put it on the dining room table.
The kitchen cabinets are in and the counter top was templated today, but the renovation won't be done until after Christmas.
We will be able to start moving things into the pantry and cabinets before then, though. Everything in the piano room will be moved, leaving space for our tree.
We'll decorate the tree the day before Santa comes. And the first thing we'll do in our finished kitchen is make Christmas cookies. During the Christmas season. Where they belong.
And because I mentioned the kitchen, you are going to have to endure a few kitchen photos.
First, remember the before:
What was that? You'd like a closer look at those door knobs?
And the inside?
Would you like to see the sink?
Sweet mama, Hubby is going to have so much fun washing the dinner dishes in that sink!
Have a lovely day!