Little Friend went to the doctor today and was diagnosed with “Christmas Fever.” It sounds technical, right? Not quite the ear infection that I had imagined after the past week of mid-night wake ups and adamant claims that “THIS ear hurts. Inside. Not outside.” Turns out that this morning’s 4:30 am wake up call was due to this December scourge now known as Christmas Fever.
“What woke you up, Little Friend?”
“I heard a noise, and I think it must be Santa.”
“Christmas doesn’t come for three more days.”
“Oh. I think it was a raccoon then.”
So the Christmas season with a three-year-old has been just a tad bit different than previous years.
I just heard on the news tonight that 25% of the American population has not yet begun shopping for Christmas presents. Why can’t I run into this type of person in line at Target? I seem to be a magnet for the braggy-judgemental type who like to inform me that they completed their Christmas shopping one day after Thanksgiving. Or the Fourth of July. And they’ve also wrapped each and every present. With bows. And whirly-gigs. And matching name tags.
That’s not how Christmas is going around my house this year.
We haven’t baked a single batch of cookies.
Our Christmas tree lacked a star up until last night.
It rained today.
We’re not exactly speeding through this season at the top of our game. But I’m okay with our pace. It’s slow. It’s deliberate. It includes two advent calendars instead of four. It’s been soundtracked with Christmas carols and a toddler who can sing “Jingle Bells” in an impressive monotone. It is the top of our game, played by new rules.
Because really this season shouldn’t be about the perfect meals, delectable cookies, red-and-green attire, and cascades of gifts. Those things can make it wonderful, truly. But this year I’m hanging with the 25% of people who are taking a bit more laid-back approach to the holidays.
On days like today, when it’s rainy, and gray, and the Advent calendar looks deflated with only three more treats to offer, I’m deliberate in my choice of the slow road. When Little Friend requests a date with Big Friend, I ignore my “Perfect Christmas” plans of making peanut-butter dates (the fruit, not the romantic outing) after dinner and instead relish a few minutes alone to relax, think, and write.
And Little Friend, now self-described as “Princess Little Friend,” gets to go on a real Christmas date with “King Big Friend.”
What more could a gal wish for at Christmas?