12:14 PM Elizabeth Seckman 0 Comments

To make the season merry and bright, you need a plan, right?

14 years ago I had my third son, Carter, on the 16th of December. By the time we were sprung from the hospital, we had less than 6 days to prep for the grand holy day. I was way behind, thanks to placenta issues forcing me into bedrest for much of the pregnancy...but I am the queen of type A overdrive when the need arises. I had check lists and to do lists with 'do by' dates and times and a system of execution that would have made a general proud.

But God had another plan. 5 days till Christmas, my 4 year old and 2 year old picked up a stomach flu. Puke buckets replaced cookie sheets. Laundry piled up as I was slow to learn that "Mommy my belly hurts" is quickly followed by internal projectiles. Kids were rocked and consoled and the only thing wrapped up was my phobia of barf.

3 days till Christmas. The 'to do' list was pared down, shortened, chopped, and modified to meet the deadline. Kids gifts were wrapped sans bows and tags...the miraculous Sharpie marker took their place. Holiday baking was replaced by Hershey Kisses and MM's.

Christmas Eve arrived and we were back on the modified schedule. We even made the time to make Santa some treats. I was so used to bending the holiday tradtions, that I didn't even bat an eye at my son's Christmas "sporky spine" (a huge pepperoni roll adorned with a box of toothpicks) he made for Santa in lieu of cookies.  I made a Christmas lasagna instead of the usual cornish hens and I was feeling pretty settled and ready to enjoy a silent night.

Bathed the kids, put them in their festive jammies (going out to parties was one of the first things chopped from the list!) and went to the dining room to feast. Problem was our dog got their first. There she was like a Bumpus hound on top of the dining table woofing down my labor of love. She heard my scream and bolted, but not before scattering the garlic bread and munching a huge hole from the center of the lasagna. 

As I felt my temperature rise with the fury and injustice of it all (and secretly contemplated whether or not the edges were still edible) my husband turned to the boys and asked, "Pizza Hut or Dominoes?"

Candle light, pizza boxes, baby coos, and the giggles of preschoolers still totally tickled by the image of their dog on top of the table chowing one of our most memorable and beloved Christmas Eves to date.

Totally unscripted, totally unpredicted...but ever so perfect.

May the to do lists and checklists never clog the cogs of Christmas cheer.

Merry Christmas and God bless.


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