The Mad Rush

Christmas is coming.

It’s been my favorite time of year since I was a little girl – mainly because it was always my grandmother’s favorite time of year.  We would literally haul box after box of Christmas decorations out of the basement and replace every single decorative item in her house with one which had a Christmas theme.  It was a ton of work but we never really minded, it was a family tradition.

Those days are gone.  I have a few of her Christmas decorations in a shadow box on my wall and fond memories of she and I sitting in the dark looking at the Christmas lights on the tree, the horrible task of decorating the mantle because it was always a pain to get everything just right, and the way she would make marshmallow pie and tint one red and the other green.

These days, Christmas seems to mean less and less.  My family, once held so firmly together by the rock which was my grandmother, scattered, leaving behind just my mother and my sisters and myself.  The Christmas day of recent years was spent with me making a feast only to have my family come, eat, open gifts soon thereafter and then leave quickly – never lingering around in the evening the way we always did at my grandmother’s house.  As the last family member leaves my heart sinks and I’m left feeling lonely.

This year I’m struck by all the changes in my life.  It’s been 10 years since my grandmother passed away.  A decade of missing her and wishing she were here to talk with and laugh with.  A decade of change.  A decade of becoming someone vastly different from the person I was when she last knew me.  Cookie queen that I am these days I often wonder what she would make of my cookie decorating hobby which I’ve picked up in the past year.  Just a year ago this week I made my first attempts at cookie decorating.  My grandmother was no baker.  I remember her doing holiday baking from time to time.  It was always a quick affair, little fanfare and always rushed in the final touches.  She had no patience for it, didn’t like it, and only did it because her family enjoyed the results.  I wonder what she would think of the patience I show in my endeavors.  I wonder what she would say.

In the past two weeks I’ve made 23 dozen cookies or so.  It seems so crazy.  I decided some time over the weekend I wouldn’t be taking any more orders.  The stress of the past two weeks has taken its toll and I need to remind myself it is a money making hobby, not an actual part time job.  Plus, I have presents to wrap, treats to make for my family, and I really would like to make cookies to give to my neighbors.  All of which I SHOULD have time to do if I simply make the time for it.  I don’t want the remaining time before Christmas Eve to be a mad rush in which I feel as though I have little time and cannot enjoy the moments in which I feel the spirit of the season.  I want to watch Christmas movies as I leisurely wrap my gifts.

And so I will.

I hope everyone else out there will take the time to be present in the moment over the next week and a half.

Merry Christmas.

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