Sunday, December 02, 2007

the magic of a christmas tree.

Today has been hell. From trying to get this house ready, to the boys continuous bickering, to an unexpected financial problem. Stressful is an understatement.

Christmas has been the first and last thing on my mind, if that makes any sense. Because of this new financial burden, funding Christmas has become a bit more. . . . . pressure. . . . I guess, than I was planning on it being. In one foul swoop, this year went from the first year we wouldn't struggle, to a year just like last. It sucks. It sucks not knowing if we'll have enough to cover the expenses, to buy the gifts AND put a decent meal on the table. It sucks that we could possibly disappoint the children with far less under the tree on Christmas Morning.

On the other hand, covering the bills and expenses we have at this very moment has taken center stage. Finding a way to juggle all that is on our plates has proven to be quite a task. In the end, I'm sure things will work out, and part of me does realize I always stress a little too much during the first weeks of December. It's sort of a tradition for me. If we ever have a year when I'm not stressing about some money matter or another, it probably won't even feel like the holiday season to me. Stressing about money is what I do, after all. It's finding a way to offset the stress that is always a challenge for me.

Luckily, tonight I stumbled on the perfect way.

After being online for what seemed like hours, researching solutions to our money dilemma, and working on spreadsheet after spreadsheet to determine, if, in fact, there would be any money left over to buy gifts this year, I finally said enough with it.

Dinner still needed to be made, clothes still needed to be washed for the upcoming week, and I still had this huge green thing looming in front of me, begging for some attention.

In the end, the big green thing won out. I broke from my stressful stupor, turned on some Christmas music, and adorned my dear tree with lights. We have a family date on Tuesday to decorate the rest of the tree. But for tonight, there it sits, a peaceful reminder of the season ahead. Simple, yet cheery. Quiet, yet bright. Loud, yet muted. Empty, yet full.

As I sit in this glowing darkness, the stress from the day has all but vanished. Staring up at my Frasier Fur somehow reassures me that somehow, someway, Christmas will be okay.