My husband often tells a story about how his stepfather, or grandfather- I can't remember which- started to sing: "It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas!" With extra, sarcastic, emphasis on the Christmas. As he explained it to me this was prompted by a fight between him and his sister. So today we decorated for Christmas and he got to sing that song.
I really wish I was a graceful, Martha Stewart type. I couldn't be anything farther from that if I tried. I threw a fit and insisted on a real tree this year, which he dutifully went and got. Before he had made it home though I decided that rain or no rain I was at least going to put up lights around the tree in our front yard. It looked like a half-blind and handicapped child had been allowed to toss the string of lights however she wanted. I really should have taken before and after pictures because words just can't do it justice. He figured that the kids started fighting and I had just thrown the lights up into the tree to get them off the wet ground. I said, smally, but... I a-r-r-a-n-g-e-d them so carefully! He had already started to wrap the lights neatly around the tree and I had to admit, it looked better than my attempt at making our tree an avant-garde cactus. Yes. I was actually attempting to make it an avant-garde cactus, the "why" still eludes even me. (This is where I smugly say: "I'm an artist" and walk off.)
Truth is. I'm not much of an artist. Not much of a decorator. I'm not really "creative" but I am good at copying. There. I admitted it. Sometimes when my artwork sucked I would glance at the kid next to me and copy what they were doing. Color it blue instead and try to call it my own. That doesn't really work in life though. Every holiday it's like I somehow think that I have magically turned into a person with style. Maybe this will be the one where I give up trying to be someone I'm not.
So I confidently carried in the box of ornaments; happy that at least they hadn't gotten lost in the move. Setting them carefully on the step ladder I gathered up the string of lights and Kaiya and I set to decorating the tree. Then, it still plays in slow-motion in my mind, I knocked off the box of ornaments. I screamed. Like a person being mauled by a wild dog. A blood-curling scream. The kids froze in place, hoping their crazy mother wouldn't see them and thus not eat them for surely she just turned into a monster. And my sweet husband started humming "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!" As my bff says, sometimes we need a mommy time-out, so I sat down and gathered whatever tiny shred of my composure was still left and had a quiet moment.
I realized I was frustrated because all day long I was trying to be like the creative girl who had thrown together an angel costume for Kaiya in .207 seconds. She had casually mentioned that if you adjusted the cape it would look like a hood. It sounded so easy and yet there I was three hours later with needle and thread and cursing up a storm. Kaiya walked in on me and informed me that angel's don't talk like that. She is right of course. Yet the day just kept going and everything golden that I touched was turning to dog poo. It's a good thing I'm not an angel because as klutzy as I am I'd choke on my halo in no time.
Truth is, I love this season, but I hate that I often forget what it's about. I forget that it's about waiting. That it's about God coming down to us as an itty bitty baby. It's not about fancy decorations or stylish angel costumes for preschoolers. God came down. As a baby. He deigned to wear humanity, so I think I can deal with a few spilled ornaments.