It’s the week before Christmas. A week where school goes up until December 23. A week after we have had 5 of the 6 of us with stomach flu.
A week of chaos.
And I hate chaos. I don’t handle it well. My mind spins as fast as the events surrounding me. The more I have to do, the less I am able to do. And that doesn’t work well because I have approximately 36 seconds each day in which to accomplish everything around the house that I have to accomplish. When I’m panicking for 34 of those seconds… well, you can guess how things go.
And this always happens. And everyone says it’s because of my own standards.
And I guess it is. It is because I want a clean house on Christmas and Christmas Eve. I want everything in order. I want to be able to sit down in the middle of my family and watch them open presents without having to shoo away cobwebs and trip over Little People.
Every year. Every year I want this. Every year I stress out the whole week before Christmas trying to attain this, and *almost* every year Christmas Eve comes around and I don’t have my cleanliness. I might have an approximation but not the real thing.
And I think all of this might be fine if the clean house was just a want. But it’s also something I need this time of year to feel peace. When I don’t have it, I look around, and with every misplaced shoe or rumpled up pair of shorts in a corner, I see failure. In my mind, I see my children looking back on Christmas and thinking it wasn’t magical enough because the state of our house did not match the magnitude of the holiday.
Silly? Probably. Panic inducing. Yes.
And I try to enlist help. But let’s face it, asking people to help just requires me to supervise and then people pout and I get frustrated and lose patience, and then I feel guilty again for ruining their run up to the holidays.
And then I try to put it all in perspective. We decorate our houses for Christmas because we are nesting. We are preparing for the birth of Jesus. And so it shouldn’t be stressful. It should be a joyous event. It should bring us peace and a sense of anticipation.
And then I see the dirty socks.
And so you can see, I try to minimize the stress of this week. I try to talk my way out of it. I try to put it in perspective.
But honestly, people. All I really want is a clean house. One week.
Is that too much?
Maybe our elf could surprise me one night…