I woke up this morning, happy that yesterday was so productive. With a child in tow, we finished all our shopping (except the grocery store and a couple gift card stops) and even wrapped every gift before dinner last night. We watched Parent Trap while wrapping. Relishing every cheesy moment, sad that life has gone south for the sweet child star who shared the lead role with herself.

We still have stuff undone. And I guess a lot of other people do, too. Maybe that’s why crabby seems to be ruling the day – people getting last minute stuff done. It was in the midst of such “stuff” that the child and I thought about the new spin on the 12 Days of Christmas – as we watched the display in the parking lots, on the roads and in the stores… and maybe in our house. Because that’s where it starts, I guess.

12 Hours of Christmas on the Eve of the Day

12 schedules to coordinate for Christmas Eve service.

11 horns a-honkin’. Why? It’s the holidays. Seriously, people.

10 (times 20) Christmas cards that still need to be sent. They’re stuffed, some are addressed, and the envelopes just might include last year’s card that also has yet to be mailed.

9 carts crashing into each other at the grocery store as people race through to grab their goods.

8 glares shot our way while we drove our short errands. I’m sorry we were in your way.

7 missed phone calls. It’s hard to hear the phone when it’s in my pocket while I’m trying to concentrate, weaving my way through the crowd.

6 apologies. Okay, so lots more than 6 … and probably several more to come.

5 (I wish I was joking) parking spaces stolen right in front of our noses. Two while we sat with our blinkers on way before the stealing car even arrived on the scene. I think I must have a “Steal My Space” sign on our bumper. See also: It’s Just a Parking Space

4 friends for whom we have a loaf of bread that should have been delivered on Friday. They have long since left for Christmas out of town. Maybe one year I will be ahead of schedule. … Nahhh.

3 phone calls to siblings to wish them a Merry Christmas Eve, a couple of which include explanations of Christmas gifts as delivery has been way-laid by our week of icy conditions.

2 round-trip drives to the airport

1 super nice check-out guy at Central Market, who whistled while he worked and almost floated above the chaos, blessing every person who crossed his path as he reminded everyone the reason for the season.

Note to self: Breathe. Remember the Central Market guy and smile – smile and share the parking lot spaces. Let someone go ahead in line. Wave the driver into my lane.

Remember, Christmas is the season to celebrate others. It celebrates the most other-centered gift ever given. So here’s to slowing down. Here’s deferring to someone else’s last minute list and busy schedule. Maybe even handing over the last chocolate cream pie (thanks Greg Gorman for offering :). Here’s to celebrating the day, and many days to come. Feel free to remind me the next time you see me in a parking lot with my blinker on.

Thanks for walking the road with me and Merry Christmas!


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