I have been forced to think about priorities these last weeks. Sorry for rambling about sickness (I don't particularly enjoy it when others do that...), but I've had the longest lasting "cold" in my life (sore throat, cough, sinus infection, headache, snot, fever, the works!) and there has been very little strength to spare, once my work days has been over. Some days I've just felt like staying in bed, but Christmas is up in less than a week, and there are lots of things to be done.
Or, are there - really?
Just thinking, because I read Facebook updates about stressed-out people who don't think they will get everything done in time, and I hear people talk about how little time there is to do all these things that really must be done. Then you have those who already finished everything (they started in October), and by now their house is spotless, all the cookies are baked and boxed, all gifts are wrapped, and they can lean back and just wait. They don't mean to, but they stress out the others even more...
What do I need for it to be Christmas?
Really, not much. But, there are things the children would miss if they weren't there, and there are things that make us feel good. So, we have baked gingerbread cookies, and tomorrow we'll make marzipan. (Yes, the real, homemade marzipan that has nothing in common with the store-bought, too sweet kind.)
As I'm writing this, my husband is out with the youngest kids, braving the crowds at the shopping mall. I let him find whatever's needed, that is a dress for our youngest daughter, some poinsettias (julestjerner) and groceries for this weekend.
We've got some gifts for the kids, Christmas music cd's, Nativity scene in the bay window, and next week we'll get a tree and put up some decorations. The house is not spotless, not at all, but hopefully we'll manage to keep the worst dust bunnies under control. At the moment, I've landed on the coach, trying to stop that head from spinning. Advice to you all: Lessen the requirements, the expectations of what you should achieve. Try to breathe, focus on the important stuff, and leave the rest. Christmas memories are not made out of clean floors and cupboards, stylish interiors or designer decorations. They are made out of candles, songs, food, candy, being together, without stress, and something that you could never find at the mall: Christmas Magic.