I was talking to my sister-in-law, Patty, who is on crutches this holiday. Nothing makes a woman crazier than not being able to whirl around in a frenzy of Christmas preparation insanity, so she was already apologizing for her house probably not being up to snuff.
I told her not to worry, I’m not coming to visit the decorations or the house. I’m coming to see my family.
As my mother so eloquently put it: “Wenna you’re dead a da house will steel a be dorty. Da hell witta da housework!”
Dear God, the woman was brilliant.
This Christmas remember this: You will never catch up. You’ll clean and the house will be immaculate for a day, or maybe two, (three if you live in a home with a vacuum lock and no living creatures). So, I give you absolution – go ahead and leave a mess while you play with the kids.
I hosted my daughter, her boyfriend, another friend, and my son last night. Not one of them noticed the fact that my kitchen floor was not scrubbed and had scuff marks, yet we all had a great time. My younger self could not have comprehended this, but my older, wiser self knows that scuff marks and dust mock us when we’re not looking.
We sat by the tree, opened our presents early because we were all going our separate ways this Christmas (divorce is such fun during holidays) and never noticed anything but the smiles on each other’s faces.
Life is short — sit on the couch, have a cup of tea and eat a chocolate. Eat two, wait long enough and maybe someone else will do the dishes.
And speaking of chocolates, my daughter bought me the most amazing chocolate covered figs — something I’ve been wanting to try for years now. They’re from John and Kira’s, a chocolatier that makes candy that’s not only beautiful but absolutely delicious.
They’re dried Calabacita figs from a small family farm in Spain. They fill them with a whiskey infused chocolate ganache, then dip them in dark chocolate. You will see God when you eat these, even if you’re an atheist. If they’re above your price range, then order some See’s Candy, it’s my holiday go-to candy and a fantastic hostess gift. (And neither of them are paying me for this. I just talk about the things I love.)
I wish you a fun week preparing. If your gifts aren’t perfectly wrapped, your tree isn’t beautiful and your decorations are still in boxes, don’t worry. Your kids will remember the love, not the decor.
I leave you with the shot I shared last year of my favorite Christmas tree from childhood. Merry week before Christmas!