Last year, I was able to get my house all pulled together for a home tour, because that's what bloggers do.
In the house where my children grew up, I had three trees (themed!) and a huge mantle dressed to the nines and AT LEAST ten different kinds of cookies (all homemade!) and a mailbox wreath and a door wreath and a zillion candles and holly all over the place. Rustic in the den, formal in the living and dining rooms, metallic in the kitchen and breakfast room, etcetera, etcetera, and so forth.
And now? Ain't nobody got time for that.
All I can think of, as I haul down the boxes from the attic, is 'why?'
No one cares about this $hit anymore. Kid #1 has moved home (where he never lived because we bought a smaller house SO THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN) as he awaits information on PhD programs. He's thrown a mattress in the loft room (where there's no HVAC, but whatever) and taken up a small corner of the living room with an enormous television and several boxes full of the stuff he couldn't put in storage.
Kid #2 will be home for three days because, you know, NEW YORK IS SO MUCH BETTER and if I didn't beg, she would never come home at all.
All you moms out there who are stressing over getting everything picture perfect and decorating trees with just specific colors and buffalo check ribbon and you can only wrap presents in red or white (because my neighbor would NOT ALLOW A PRESENT UNDER THE TREE UNLESS IT WAS WRAPPED IN THE RIGHT COLOR) and you need a million different kinds of cookies because you don't love them enough if you don't have an assortment....
This, too, shall pass.
If I knew then what I knew now? I would pare Christmas back by 75%. I would stress less and enjoy more. I would use the creative energy on something that lasts more than six weeks, like that dang novel. I would save all the money I spent creating "new looks" and I'd be able to retire earlier. Or buy kid #2 more plane tickets to fly home to see her old mom.
But I didn't.
This year? I'll put up my one tree and use my old decorations and keep stuff simple because I want to focus on the three days we're all together instead of being too tired to enjoy it.
Little moms better post pictures so I can live vicariously through you!
*Hectivities - hectic festivities
**Hective - a cross between festive and hectic