It's two weeks until Christmas. Well, less than that now...and the clock is ticking! It feels that way sometimes, doesn't it? Like you have to make every last minute count in order to prepare for the parties and gift giving and travel...
Two weeks before Christmas last year for us: hustling and bustling with children activities and lots of work, with absolutely no shopping complete.
In some ways Christmas snuck up on us. I know, it's the same time every year, but we were so immersed in the daily stuff that planning for something even two weeks away seemed luxurious and frankly, impractical.
My husband and I had our social and professional calendars booked. When were we going to have time to shop for Christmas? In exhausted exasperation, we added a date for shopping after his office Christmas party.
On the evening of the office party, we donned our holiday duds (and even smelled good!) and we whisked off together, wonderful babysitter safely watching over the den for the duration. At the cocktail reception, we mingled with couple after couple, making conversation about one another's holiday plans. "Are you ready for Christmas?" we heard over and over.
Funny enough, whether we were caught by surprise or not, it was coming - Christmas was coming. In the din of jovial conversations, I remembered the wonder of the season. I was struck by the silly and temporal nature of my worries as I explained over and over that we were behind on our preparations. You know how sometimes hearing yourself say something makes you realize just how ridiculous you are?
That we hadn't (gasp!) shopped for Christmas.
And although I was stressed by all that I had to do, I felt a glimmer of hope that no matter what was still left in boxes or unchecked off the list, Christmas was still coming. Christ's birth would still be celebrated - and in full force at our house.
I watched my husband explain to his colleagues, in good humor, how we were going out AFTER the party to begin our Christmas shopping. He joked about our hot date at Toys R Us in the late hours of the night.
And I started to lighten up and embrace the adventure.
We left the party, laughing together.
At 9pm, we were the best dressed shoppers at the toy store. With barely a soul around, you could hear our heels and dress shoes, as we meandered the aisles - he pushing the cart and me with my arm wrapped through his - strolling and talking about our life together, our children, and the joy of the season.
It was that moment right before you turn over the snow globe, when everything stands still just for a little while.
We slowed down the world and remembered the family we have built and the love that we share.
All the gifts were purchased. Checklists completed.
And Christmas did in fact come.
And it's heading our way again in two weeks. Take some time to wonder at the Glory of Christmas and wander with the ones that you love. You might have to take late night strolls through toy aisles to do so, but that's okay. Schedule in some tree light gazing together. Or cuddle close over cups of hot chocolate.
My husband's office Christmas party is this Saturday? Guess what we're doing after? This year it's intentional. No stressing... just looking forward to time together thinking about each other and the life we've made.