Some folks tend to get their Christmas cards out at the last minute. Envision a woman sitting in her bathrobe at the dining room table finishing up the last of them just yesterday, and then getting showered and dressed to head out to the post office because, since the 55 cards were finally done, she certainly did not need to be losing one more moment getting them into the mail. Now, I'm not saying that was me, mind you. Being an organized woman, I'd begun my Christmas cards shortly after Thanksgiving. I got about half of them done in November. The other half? Quit interrupting me, I'm trying to tell a story here. So I get myself showered and dressed, and head out to the post office, and don't you know it, there is a line. People standing there with boxes, for pete's sake. What kind of people wait until the last minute to do their holiday mailing? So anyway, I'm standing there with 55 Christmas cards, waiting patiently in line, and because I cannot wait quietly to save my soul, I began blabbing. The woman behind me says, "Do you mind if I ask your name?" and I say it, and she says, "I read your blog every day." She finds it uplifting and inspirational. It always amazes me to hear things like this.
I buy my stamps, and I carefully afix them to 55 Christmas cards and drop them into the mail box, and walk out of the post office relieved that I can tick off the 'get Christmas cards done' box, in true Jeanie style. Saturday, I ticked off several boxes. I dragged my decorations down, and decorated the tree (tick). I set up my lit Christmas village for the first time in two years (tick). I got out the Nativity. I even brought down my Christmas dishes, unpacked them, washed them, put my ordinary dishes away for the month, and put the washed Christmas dishes in the cupboard (tick). I even wrapped most of my presents (tick). I've already baked three batches of cookies, but tomorrow afternoon, and Wednesday, I'll make a few more favorites (tick).
It is very hard for me to go through the motions of this Christmas without remembering last Christmas: the exhaustion, and discouraged knowledge that I could not make the Christmas my family was used to. I really rejoice over the fact that this year, I can. I have. It is Christmas at my house. I am so very happy to be back in the swing of things. Thanks, Dawn, for taking the time to talk to me at the post office. It is a new Christmas. It is a new season. I walk out of the post office, into the snow, and I take a moment to savor the scene before me. I am lighthearted and filled with joy. And it is not just because I finally got my Christmas cards done.