Ready or Not...

Well, my gifts are wrapped.

And yesterday, I stocked up on food and liquor. (In that order. I have teenagers. But I do not judge you if you don't and you spent more on booze than food, just so we're clear.)

Buuuuut, my five-year-old prelit tree had another two strands of lights go out last night. I'm down to a mere three lit strands. On a seven foot tree. Its basically a nightlight.

But what do you do? We are (according to my Christmas countdown screensaver) a mere three days and nine plus hours away from Christmas. At some point, you just have to say, I've done all I can do to get ready for this holiday, now bring on the festivities. And then sit back (preferably with a glass of wine, [hey it's not my fault you didn't get your holiday booze yet]) and let the celebrating commence.

Oh sure, it all looks perfect, til cousin Thomas barfs on the third chair...

When my kids were little and we still had birthday parties with family and friends I always wanted it to be so perfect for them. I wanted a great theme that represented who they were at that age or what they were into. I wanted to incorporate what their favorite foods were at that time. I wanted paper plates to match the balloons and balloons to match the tablecloth.

And try as I may - it would so rarely ever go perfectly.

Late guests, a crying birthday boy, food that didn't turn out, an ill-timed flu bug, a cousin that opened the gifts because the suspense was too much...

In the moment - I can remember some of those things feeling like they were big things.

Waking up the morning of my youngest son's first birthday party so sick I couldn't stand up. That felt like a big thing to deal with.

And yet somehow, all the birthdays got celebrated. All the cake got eaten, the presents got opened, the thank you notes got sent and the pictures got taken.

And when I'm really feeling like a total dunder-head for making a huge to-do out of something, I also like to ice that cake with a reminder that a teenage girl had a Baby. In a barn.

No balloons. No congratulatory bouquets delivered.

No theme (unless barn animals was the theme, in which case - she REALLY did that one well.)

No mentally stimulating, age appropriate toys to keep Him occupied.

And here we are, still celebrating, a birth SO HUGE that in spite of no color-coordinated plates holding celebratory cake - we are STILL celebrating this miraculous day.

Ask me why I decorate my house with lights. Why I put up a tree covered in shiny baubles, why I bake treats and make platters to deliver.

If I'm the type of person that wants coordinated plates for my own kids' birthday parties - kids whom, as much as I love and adore them, are just regular kids - then wouldn't it make sense that to celebrate the birthday of the All-Important, Almighty Kid that my house would be dusted with glitter on every space that stands still?

At my house, birthdays are a big deal.

My husband's birthday. Teenage birthdays. First birthdays. King's birthdays.

Do it up. And if you find yourself losing your wit over running out of tape at 10:14pm when no stores are open and you have seven gifts sill left to wrap, remember; teenager girl, barn, Baby Boy and it is STILL a big deal.

Then go find your painter's tape. Or your daughter's sticker collection, your husband's Duct Tape... and keep wrapping. Cuz celebrating time is almost here and in four days those Duct Taped packages will be shredded and waiting on the curb.

A memory.

Of a holiday you spent... stressing or celebrating?

You choose.