I was going to do a quick, effervescent post about my Thanksgiving preparations. About the 12 cups of shortening chilling in the refrigerator waiting to become pie...(lots of pie, apparently.) About the scrubbing and the shopping and the aprons I washed and pressed this morning for the occasion, the occasion of one the greatest weeks of the year for domestic goddesses everywhere. There would have been mention of National Clean Out Your Fridge Day last Thursday and how I didn't clean out mine and how I regretted it yesterday and how it is a terrible thing to live with regret. And how today I wore my Superman shirt under my apron so the kitchen would know who's boss.
And you would have enjoyed it.
But I have something else entirely coming out. Don't worry. You'll probably enjoy it, too.
The talk in our bed lately has been about the coming holidays. As we're drifting off and slowly waking there is talk about lights and gifts and cards and decorating and budgets. Last night I was listing the flaws in the current version of the Christmas CD we are giving to our friends and neighbors, the songs that have to go and the songs that just have to be on it regardless of what anyone thinks of us afterwards. (The integrity of our holiday music mix must be preserved afterall. We have a reputation to uphold.) And this morning as I awoke, I told David that I received an email that our Christmas cards had shipped and he said, "Well you know what that means..." and then said the rest of it with his eyebrows, which was all about how I need to get writing and how he was nervous about this but was doing his best to keep it to himself and wasn't I proud of his effort.
And lately I have been sighing inwardly that this is how it will be (waking and sleeping) for the next thirty days or so, despite my deep need for it to be different this year.
Every year I think, "Next year will be different." And every year it isn't.
So far this year has been no exception. I started having actual nightmares about Christmas Eve in early October. I have earnestly tried to "do less" and "simplify," thinking that will make it different, but honestly it doesn't fundamentally change the way we prepare and celebrate the holidays. It just makes me anxious that "less" won't be "enough." I have also tried to "do it early" but somehow this only seems to prolong the process. There needs to be a change at the heart of it all.
Early Monday morning I dreamed that David and I were at a beach house. He was smiling at me under the sheets, and the sunlight was streaming through the windows setting the white sheets ablaze in light. His skin was glowing like resurrection morning. His eyes were pure love beaming up at me.
I woke up breathless, blinded by light and beauty and a feeling of overwhelming contentedness.
This morning under the covers I thought about that dream again. I thought about how there has to be a better way. A way full of light and love and contentedness. I thought about how afterall that was the whole point of the birth we are so madly celebrating. I thought about how tired I am already and how many lists I've made already and how I want to give up already. I thought about those blazing sheets and resurrection morning and the love of my life. And I thought about how to create a space big enough for that, for each one of my darlings. Big enough that they can each be overwhelmed by love.
When I told David about the dream I said, "That's what I want for Christmas."
He asked, "A beach house?"
"I want that feeling. All that light and joy and love spilling out of our eyes and our fingertips and our windows and our doors."
He nodded, relieved, I think, that I did not want a beach house. But I was less relieved. Because I am good at fighting. I am good at anxiety. I am good at grudges and blowing things out of proportion. (Boy, am I.) I am good at stress and short answers and rushing through my days for the sake of a list. I am good at missing the good stuff.
I want light and love and resurrection morning. I want it all month long.
Is this too much to ask? Perhaps. Especially given my considerable talent for the opposite. But I'm asking anyway. I can see why all that white, delicious fruit was so appealing to Lehi. I am after a basketful of it myself. I want light and love and resurrection morning dripping from my chin.