“Christmas” isn't just a holiday at our house. It's a season, one that lasts a month, and it stands for so much more than just the one day we celebrate the birth of the Christ child.
I love this time of year. The garden is put to bed and no work needs to be done. The produce is put up in the freezer and cellar, what canning I had to do this year – there wasn't much – is finished. The goats and cow have been dried up in preparation for next year's babies. Horse events are over, 4-H is down to just monthly meetings and a few extra activities instead of being a daily project. The house was deep cleaned and decluttered in the fall, leaving only basic housework to keep up with. In December we decrease the schoolwork load to only math and English, doing about three hours of school each day instead of the usual six.
This is the time of year for spending with family and friends, for crafting beautiful things as gifts, for ourselves, for our home. It's the time of year for baking and trying new recipes. There's time for playing games, singing Christmas carols, or reading aloud to one another by the fire. We pick up forgotten knitting projects, we play with play-dough and paint and just sit and chat. We have time to go for walks, to just sit and play with the animals. We have time to just relax, and it's very welcome.
It's been a hard couple of years up here on our little mountain. One mama trying to handle all that comes with homemaking and homeschooling, plus keeping a small farm running without much help at all, is bound to start falling apart sometime. But things are looking up. The Daddy moved home in September, and we've all settled into having a man in the house again. We've lost some very special people in our lives this year, but my heart is healing as I'm reminded how important The Little Things really are, and I'm focusing on being grateful for each memory and for creating new ones. Loneliness has been tempered by the making of new friends and getting involved in the wonderful community we live in. I'm looking to the holiday season with hope and joy this year, I'm not overwhelmed and discouraged.
It's going to be a good Christmas season.