Monday, December 20, 2010

A Very Martha Christmas

And I don't mean Martha Stewart . . . .

I am ready to cry uncle because I think Christmas prep has really got me beat. And I don't like it one bit.

I feel dreadfully unprepared this year for some reason (although Rob suspects that I am not as unprepared as I think I am), and I am feeling a special sympathy for St. Martha. Hopefully the feeling is mutual and she is sending her own little prayer up for me.

In my usual way, I've tried to analyze why I am off kilter this year. I could easily say that it's because I am pregnant and tired, but guess what? I was pregnant and tired last year as well.

(I can't really ponder that thought for too long. I am grateful for the blessing. Still, my uterus is terrifically tired. Of course, all of this should be saved for a post on baby #6. That'll be a doozy.)

I have tried to remain detached from the consumer hysteria about finding the PERFECT gift. But I have to admit that the closer we draw to Christmas, the larger the gaps in my Christmas list loom.

And it's not just the unfinished shopping that has me harried. My Christmas cards have been sitting in my house for weeks, but since I haven't been able to devote the time to writing our family Christmas letter I've put off writing out the envelopes.

Now I have to face the fact that if I want people to receive their cards before next year, I need to send them without the letter. It seems silly, but I love writing that little letter and updating far flung friends and family. I'll miss it this year.

The kids are sick. Just a cold, but no one is sleeping well and everyone is feeling just poorly enough to hamper any kind of around-town errand activity during the week.

Rob is so good about taking charge of the house after work so that I can run around and finish errands in the evening, but honestly if I have to walk into Target at 7:30 pm during the last week before Christmas I might just stand there and start weeping. I am ill-equipped to handle the bustling this year.

I know Christmas will come whether I am ready or not. It will come quietly, without gifts and cards and six kinds of cookies and matched outfits.

But boy can I feel for St. Martha when she basically said "Whoa, Lord, I do not have the time and energy to get all this ready!"

She was just trying to make everything nice for Jesus -- you know, with the cards and cookies and matched outfits.

Of course the Lord comforted her, but gently reminded her which was the better part. I have to choose the better part this year, and let go of the rest.

St. Martha, pray for me!

** Updated to add: I just opened a Christmas card from one of those far-flung relatives, and she mentioned how much she hopes to "get a little letter from Aimee again this year." Now I feel sad that she'll think I don't care to send a letter this year. Sheesh. I am so NOT GOOD at letting go.


  1. ((Hugs)) I am having the same problem and I'm not pregnant and have less kids. It is okay to be more Mary this Christmas =)

  2. Praying for you, and wishing for an eternity of Christmases with no gifts! I really do think it the way the Lord would have preferred. I like Dave's comment and I think we should stop all this nonsense and just say "Mary Christmas!"

  3. Just put your feet up, make a cup of tea, and call the far-flung relative. I'm sure she'll love a phone call even more than a letter. And you'll love the rest time.

    I have failed "Christmas Photo" this year. And I'm refusing to sweat it. People will have to deal. 2 out of 3 of my kids think they're too big to pose for a photo.

  4. It's not always magical, is it? BTW, I HEAR you on having a tired uterus. Not that it's not all wonderful and whatnot but really - so many, so soon?! My body just needs a chance to store up some vitamins and minerals again, please! Good luck with getting Christmas to happen in your neck of the woods, I'll say a prayer for you.

  5. Dang, I feel you. I still have to finish shopping for one of my kids and my Dh and relatives. and I need to mail gifts to CA for my brother & his family. Was going to drop the littlest with the in-laws and git 'er done tomorrow, but I think that same child may have strep. She and her cousin have been asleep since 7;30. looks like no shopping for me tomorrow. Oh well.

    Been wondering what Jesus has been trying to teach me this advent. I think He wants me to listen to Him and not to everything else. I think He's trying to teach me but I've been too busy to listen. Now He's forcing me to stop. Too much Martha, not enough Mary.

  6. Send the cards after Christmas. People will take time to read the letter then too. I hope you find some peace this week. And I'm listening to my little BTS chatter away in that cute 7 month old way and thinking he and your baby girl would be so fun together. :)

  7. Christmas greetings are nice at any time- I agree with many of the sentiments expressed already. Just do what you can, simplify your list & maybe recruit a couple of elves to help you out? Your body is busy with more important things, right? Better advice is probably offered above but my advice is to pare down the list as best you can, send the cards whenever you get to them & don't be afraid to ask for help!

  8. Anonymous10:33 PM

    2 words: amazon mom. Sign up and get free 2 day shipping. These still time. And you can avoid Target.

    Dave is genius. Have a Mary merry Christmas.


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