I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I blinked for a moment sometime in October and somehow found myself in the middle of November. Perhaps it was the late change of seasons, the delayed temperature drop or those two kids I spend much time chasing … I’m really not sure.
Yet, somehow, here we are two weeks shy of Thanksgiving and six weeks out from Christmas. I’m still wrapping my mind around the notion, that shopping may need to begin happening fairly soon.
The good news (or so I tell myself) is that it somehow snuck up on my children as well. A few weeks back, as we recovered from the crazy of the Halloween hangover I asked them “What do you guys want from Santa this year?”
Much to my surprise they both looked at me with blank stares. I quickly recognized they too had lost track of time and were caught off guard by the notion of Santa soon coming to visit.
Hoping to return them to consciousness I quickly stated, ‘Christmas is just a little over a month away. You two better start thinking.’
I’ve shared in past pieces, we are truly a less is more family. We tend to collect memories over things; it’s just what’s worked best for us through the years. So as I spoke of the looming holiday and the list they may want to give thought to, they both asked the same question.
‘How many days until Thanksgiving?’
Admittedly, my duo shocks me (often). As parents we never know where our children’s minds are or what will spill from their mouths. My hope on most days, is that I just have enough presence of mind to field it properly.
So, as the question was raised I looked to the calendar and gave them the appropriate day count. My seven-year-old then indicated we should change the countdown calendar (a chalkboard where we countdown to important events) to reflect Thanksgiving was coming.
Apparently she has big plans for that holiday this year. She is determined to beat her older brother in the breaking of the wish bone. Simple pleasures … they are indeed the best kind.
Recognizing again, I had my own Holiday Checklist to put together, I revisited the question a few days later. Still nothing … absolutely nothing. It’s important to add, that catalogs began arriving in our mailbox in early September. They have spent the better part of the past two months scouring the pages of specialty toy books, commenting on interesting items yet … still nothing.
My daughter mentioned that she may like to go to a concert again with her grandmother and I. This was last year’s Santa gift, which I still feel was more of a prize for Memaw and myself than the then-six-year-old recipient. My son is so focused on the money he wants to spend for a ‘large’ item, he appears to have little interest in this list business.
These are good problems to have. As a planner, it presents a bit of internal struggle and a slight twitch of anxiety. Fortunately, I was somehow blessed with two grateful kids. In my heart I know regardless of a Santa List or a simple surprise they will wake up that morning as happy as they were last year and all the years prior.
We have health, we have love, we have family and we have amazing friends and community. What’s left to want?
For this mom, weeks before the crazy goes into hyper speed I can honestly share it’s quite simply the same for each of you. May your smiles shine bright, your lives be touched and as you float through the chaos which is inevitable … may you find the time to breathe and reflect.
It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. Don’t miss it.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.