finding the Christmas mood

My Facebook status yesterday read:

Emily — is not feeling Grinch- or a Scrooge-like about Christmas, but I just can’t seem to get into the Christmas spirit this year, because it seems like it’s still a long ways off. Yet, I realized today that Christmas is ten days away, and now I’m starting to feel myself kick into action. Or kick into panic mode. Something along those lines.

I also realized yesterday that thanks to my busy holiday schedule, I’m likely not going to be able to mail any packages to Wisconsin until next Monday, which will mean that all my packages will likely be late.  Yesterday I ordered some homemade gifts from a friend who has an Etsy shop, but because I put my order in late, with the way the mail goes I likely won’t get those presents until after Christmas.  Somehow, the 25th is sneaking up on me faster than I expected!  And in all honesty, it still feels like Christmas should be further off.

I had high hopes earlier of having more preparations done before the last minute, but so far that hasn’t really panned out the way I had hoped it would.  However, once this weekend is over, I can throw myself thoroughly into Christmas preparations, so that will be good.  Christmas cards will probably go out late again this year, but at least they will arrive during the Twelve Days of Christmas, so that will be okay.

Ready or not, Christmas is coming.  My girls are very excited!  The house is decorated, and the last two evenings the girls and I have worked on cutting out and decorating Christmas cookies.  Lyd is very liberal with her use of sprinkles; there are always a lot of sprinkles left over on her plate when she’s done.  But, she’s also very careful and exacting, and her cookies look quite artistic.

I think I have most of my presents purchased/found.  I need a few more items yet, but nothing too big.  The biggest thing is that I need to go online and create photo calendars for 2011 for my parents and JJ’s parents.  That won’t get done until after Christmas, when I have a little more time to putz around on the computer.  Those calendars will get shipped right to each set of parents.

Tomorrow evening (Friday) is the Christmas party that JJ and I host for the people who serve in various ways at our church.  We don’t have any kind of Volunteer Appreciation Dinner — this party is it.  Not a ton of people are coming, but the people who are coming are people with whom we’re especially comfortable, so that will be nice.  I’ll be cooking much of tomorrow to get all the appetizers ready for that party.

My birthday is next week, and I’m toying with the idea of having some kind of party for our really close friends around here, some of whom are not members of our church.  Right now, I’m looking at doing it sometime during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.  I’ve never done anything like that before, so I still have to decide if and how I want to do this.

I did a huge shopping run this morning for party supplies.  Jujubee came with me, and she had just had a snack, so she was in her best mood.  She and I wore our Santa hats, and we had so much fun going up and down the aisles, pulling items off the shelves, and putting them in our cart.  Jujubee really listens well and is cheerful and fun to be with, so grocery shopping became a fun bonding experience.  Experiences like today remind me that, as much as I’d like to have babies more quickly than I have had them, there are definitely benefits to having only one young child at a time.  I really enjoy being out and about with her, and she has a good time, too.

Thankfully, all four of us are healthy, and everyone has been getting along quite well.  Despite the fact that I don’t feel like it’s really Christmas, the girls are fully in the Christmas spirit and can’t wait to open presents.  Kids certainly make Christmastime a lot more fun, and it makes all the work I do getting ready for the holidays very worthwhile.