Christmastime, Interrupted

So can I tell you the truth about something? Remember how I said I was making sure I knew where the Christmas decorations were so I could follow through on all of our usual Christmas plans as soon as we moved?

Yea, that was before the Second Plague fell upon us.

We have been so sick, y’all.

The last child has the fever now and Andrew and I finally feel a little less like death warmed up today, so it appears we are on the mend. Thank you, Jesus.

But I disappeared into a fog of kleenex and when I came out of it, Christmas was two weeks away.



Sometime last week before I got sick, I had a half hour fit of holiday cheer and the kids and I hung some garland on the front porch. From the front of our house, it’s festive. But if you walk in the front door, this is what you see:


Blank walls. Blank table.

The painters finished painting the main room white today, so that’s a victory, but I’ve learned that knowing where the Christmas stuff is doesn’t mean the house is decorated. It just means I know where it is. (So do the kids. Which is why there are now two more broken ornaments.)

I haven’t spread any Christmas cheer around or made peppermint bark or lit any candles, but I did manage to pick up the Kleenex that littered the floors like snow in my bedroom.

So that’s something, right?

I don’t really have a point other than to say that even with my good intentions and “plan ahead mentality,” Christmastime isn’t happening at my house. Andrew has managed to do some Advent with the kids and we’re talking about who to give our gift to Jesus to, but other than that, I’m failing in the make-it-feel-like-Christmastime department this year.

And I thought maybe it might give some of you a little comfort if you’re feeling as surprised as I am to be mid-December.

If your stockings aren’t hung by the chimney with care or if your Christmas Pinterest Board taunts you more than it inspires you this year, you’re not alone. Sometimes life just doesn’t happen like you thought it would.

But as my dad would say, “We’re making memories here. One way or another.” (Or maybe he said, “If it kills us.” Both are accurate.)

So maybe this will be the year that my kids look back and call “The White-walled Christmas.” Or maybe they’ll call it “The Year Of The Many Plagues.” They will look back and remember something.

And I guess I hope they remember the few stolen moments of Advent. The long debates about where to send our Christmas gift. Or maybe they’ll remember the way we rubbed them with peppermint oil for fevers or the apple juice they got to drink for sore throats.

Whatever it is, I hope their memories make them feel loved and secure.

I hope they’re absolutely certain that Christmas isn’t something to perform or decorate, that Christmas has already come and changed the world forever.

And I hope they bring their tired old mama some peppermint bark. I’ll still crave it, even when I’m toothless and senile.


p.s. I didn’t hear from anyone wanting to be part of Home for Christmas this year, so I’m just going to remind you that the list from 2011 is still up and you can get to it in my sidebar if you want to shop for gifts and help bring orphans home. My apologies if some of the links are no longer working.



  1. I love you and your new blog design. I do not love plagues. Honestly, in a few years when the Christmases start to run together for them (in a good way, let’s forget the plague, shall we?) they will always remember being so loved every day, including Christmas. xoxo

  2. Sending lots of get-well-soon prayers your way!

    I just was thinking, I don’t think kids really need to see their parents being perfect all the time. They need to see how parents behave under stress, when the plague hits and we’re disappointed that the decorations aren’t up yet but we know it’s okay anyway. That really does build character, and as you said, it makes memories. If it kills us. 😉

  3. Who says Christmas needs to be celebrated on December 25? Ephiphany is observed on January 6 and Orthodox Christians celebrate it on January 7 this year. This may not be the way you’d planned, but there’s still time! Plus, as a homeschool family especially, you’ll be able to explore what other Christians do to honor the birth of Christ!

  4. You have great perspective on real life and intentional living in the midst of moving and sickness.

    Your children will remember that someday and it will spread through the way they live their Christmas out with their families. And I’m sure they’ll bring you peppermint bark and probably even make sure you have a good set of dentures to enjoy it with 😉

  5. You’re getting the stuff done that matters. As for the rest of it, just tell the kids you’re celebrating Minimalistmas this year. I’m kinda thinking we might do that next year. 🙂 Love you. Glad you are getting back to human again.

  6. All I can say is: White Walls = Brave Woman. 🙂

    Keep that Magic Eraser handy! Love your blog. Our kids have grown up much too quickly (in HINDSIGHT), so this is a fun throwback to read!

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