Start Your Engines

by norealplot

Driving home from the movies last night, I saw my first Christmas house-lights of the season.  I will confess, I had mixed feelings.  Our Thanksgiving pots and pans have barely dried beside the sink.  The folding tables and chairs are still leaning against the wall in the front hall, and the kitchen pantry is blocked by a large plastic bin of party plates and extra napkins, all waiting for me to haul them back down to the basement.  Do we really need another holiday right away?

Christmas is the celebration Olympics.

5170VHHT91L._SS400_The gift guides already cramming my inbox remind me that presents are a competitive sport.  Evidently, so are wrapping, baking, decorating, table setting, and party dressing.

I’m ambivalent about the whole thing.

The fact is, holiday celebrations are worth doing not for the celebration itself, which the honest hostess will admit can be frantic, messy, exhausting, and undermining (whoever actually puts the perfect meal on the table that she imagined in her head?).  No, holidays are valuable because they create jobs to anchor my boys in the kitchen, with me.

IMG_4241Like these Thanksgiving place cards.

IMG_4214
But I have to admit they looked even better on the table, before a loud and talkative crowd, with the names of admired teenage cousins pencilled in.

IMG_4252Yes, pencilled in.  There’s always next year.