Hustle & bustle

All things considered, we are having a very quiet holiday.  Our shopping is done, as is most of our wrapping.  The tree is trimmed, the halls are decked, the cookies have been baked.  Tomorrow we have one last grocery stop, plus the usual festive activities — setting out the cookies, hanging the stockings, finding all the people for the nativity and reading “The Night Before Christmas” before bed.

We aren’t going anywhere and we aren’t having anyone over.  We don’t have to do anything at any particular time.  Of course, we have some indulgent meals planned, and we expect the boys to be up first thing on Christmas morning.  We will Skype with all of the grandparents, aunts and uncles.  It’s going to be great — we are looking forward to a wonderful Christmas.

But while staying home and not having guests creates kind of a peaceful feeling, I’m finding myself longing a bit for the organized chaos of a lets-get-dressed-and-pack-the-car-hurry-up-we’re-going-to-be-late mad dash to Grandma’s or Grandpa’s house.  Because although leaving the house and going over the river and through the woods can make me feel frazzled and a little stressed, it also means family, being together.  The sometimes hectic schedule of twice-over Christmases that I grew up with came from having so much holiday celebration that it couldn’t be contained on one day or in one house or with one part of our family.  It came from holidays overflowing with love where we always wished we’d been able to spend more time at each house and been able to spend more time talking to each person.

And I miss it.

I miss it because the craziness is just part of spending the holiday together.  And it seems like a lot when you’re faced with it, but it is so little energy to expend for what we experience in return.

So, while I am enjoying and wholeheartedly embracing this quiet Christmas in Vienna, I am also very much looking forward to some bustling, too busy, running late ones to come.

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