Tuesday, December 8, 2015

On Having a Less than Ideal Advent

This year Advent started out on the right foot, well as much on the right foot as could be expected when attempting to prayerfully anticipate the coming of the baby Jesus while your own baby has just gone.  By the first Sunday we had all the presents bought, the Christmas books down, the children's nativities out, the candles rolled and the Advent wreath made with a good hour to spare before dinner.  Of course Chris had gathered such a prodigious amount of greenery that I had enough left over to make a garland for the mantle as well, which meant there was only room at the table for the two of us to actually eat dinner, but still--the candle was lit and I'm sure the children enjoyed it from the other room.  

The actual *nice* nativity was more difficult to place this year since Margaret can reach just about anything she puts her mind to reaching but in the end it settled in nicely on the mantle--high enough for the baby not to be able to shatter, reachable enough for the big boys to put in their pieces of hay to make the manger soft for baby Jesus.

I even managed to have the kids write/dictate their Christmas lists which all included things that they will actually be getting which is not always an easy task when you do your Christmas shopping in October.

David's translates to:
Dear Santa, 
I would like 10 sheets of iron, 20 steel, 30 gold and silver, 20 bronze, 10 brass, 10 tenders of coal.  I also want Legos and a scooter.  This Advent, I'll let my brothers pick the games.
Apparently he wants to build his own child-sized train so that he and Margaret can ride it together.  I encouraged him to list some toys, just in case Santa doesn't bring raw materials.  The boys also all picked one thing to work on during Advent as their own gift to Jesus.

All in all, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself and how I pulled off that first Sunday after everything we'd gone through in the weeks leading up to it.

Advent, I've got this.

And then, the stomach bug.  First it was just Chris who wasn't feeling his usual self but by Friday the kids were going down fast and we spent the whole weekend in survival mode.  And disinfectant mode.  Survival-disinfectant mode.

There was no Christmas tree bought, no lights put up, no popcorn strung.  We didn't even remember St. Nicholas' Day and the boys forgot to put out their shoes. Luckily, St. Nick realized his mistake on Sunday morning and the kids eventually found their new Christmas picture books and chocolate coins along with a "get well soon" note tied up in a trash bag on the front porch.  I told the kids St. Nick must have been worried about spreading their germs around.  It was a very classy St. Nicholas Day.

With all that time lost, I'm feeling very behind on our Christmas preparations.  There are Christmas cards to write, cookies to bake, a tree to procure and decorate, Christmas dinner to plan, gifts to make, presents to wrap and just a little over two weeks to go.  There are so many things I should be doing right now, but mostly I just want to sit on the couch and luxuriate in the fact that I currently don't have to clean up after any sick children--maybe I'll just sit back and make a new and improved and more realistic Advent plan instead.  Sorry St. Lucy, things are not looking good for you.....

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