I can’t believe that today is Christmas Eve Eve. It’s almost here; it’s nearly here! And while the excitement for Christmas continues to build and escalate in this house with a constant rumble and trembling of joy, I feel a simultaneous build-up of sadness in the pit of my stomach. It’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, and I just don’t understand it nor do I know what to do about it. I’m so freakishly, insanenly enthralled with the whole Christmas season. From the moment that I’m ‘allowed’ to listen to Christmas music (according to Mike this is socially acceptable the day after Thanksgiving), I’m giddy with the joy that IS the season – the lights, the music, the tree, the Advent calendar and wreath, the movies, the food, the drink…it all. Obviously, the stress of the season gets to me too – all of the shopping, errands, festivities (which are great, but do fill up the calendar), cooking, cleaning, overly excited (i.e. out of control cranky) children, etc. That wears me down too, but for the most part, I just can’t get enough of CHRISTMAS…until Christmas. As it draws nearer instead of feeling more excited, I start to feel the impending doom of its’ ‘doneness.’ It’s like I’m PRE-sad knowing that so soon it will come to an end. On December 26th, when I turn on the radio and it’s back to regular ‘ol boring non-Jesus’ birthday or Santa-themed tunes, I’m SO disappointed.
I’m about to admit something a little embarrassing but that, quite frankly, is the part of the essence of me (the “Jenessence” --- a term that dates back to the early days of this here nearly seven year-long, Blog); so, take it or leave it, but here goes. This is how much I love Christmas: a couple of weeks ago, Mike and I were sitting by the tree in a rare moment of peace. The three kids were upstairs all playing together well and in harmony. (Seriously, a Christmas miracle). Christmas music was playing (of course, as it has been, CONSTANTLY since exactly a month ago – November 23rd), I was having a glass of wine (shocker) and ignoring the mountain of dishes in the kitchen sink so that we could just enjoy the moment. I was telling Mike just how much I love Christmas, in particular, the whole Santa thing. I’m still completely enamored with the magic of it all. As a parent now, I obviously gain a different perspective of this Santa business and in some ways it has added such a depth and enjoyment to the experience. They say, with children, you have the advantage of seeing life through their eyes. It’s easier to ‘embrace your inner child’ when you’re surrounded by them…so maybe this is why the Santa thing has actually gotten harder as I’ve matured. I explained to Mike that I just think the whole idea of Santa is so spectacular and magical and wonderful and [make sure your children are not reading this!!!...] amazing that it kind of breaks my heart that it’s not actually real and then…I…started…to cry. Yes, I cried because there’s no such thing as Santa. I didn’t even cry about this when I was a kid! Sure, I was maybe extra emotional that night, maybe it was a more ‘tender time’ for me (if you will J), but I shed legit tears of sadness over…Santa. Wow.
Anyway, as Christmas does come closer, and therefore, soon comes to an end, I’m trying my darndest to fight the inevidable sadness heading my way. Tonight, in an effort to fight this and to, quite frankly, spoil myself, I did something that I haven’t done in almost exactly (to the day!) seven years. I took a bubble bath. Stay with me as I paint this picture (but try not to paint one too vividly in your head, you sicko). The last time I soaked in a tub was when I was pregnant with Zachary and we were at a bed and breakfast in Leavenworth after Christmas. When I told this to Mike he was like, “Well, yeah, I don’t even remember the last time I took a bath.”
I looked at him and stated the obvious, “That’s ‘cuz you’re a huge dude.”
I, on the other hand, do LOVE a good bubble bath and yet, and yet, it’s been SEVEN YEARS!! So, finally, today was the big day. I planned my entire day around the fact that this bath tonight would happen, darn it! And it was going to be amazing! And. It. Was.
We actually have a nice big soaking tub in the master bath of our ‘new’ house (of seven months already!). I lit candles; I filled that tub full of bubbles and steaming hot water. I had the best Christmas album of all time playing – Nat King Cole’s, obviously. I had a glass of wine. I had a book to read, but I didn’t actually start reading for quite a while. I just basked in the glory of this completely self-indulgent, relaxing and TOTALLY earned bathing activity! I laid there and listened to the rain on the skylight. I listened to Nat. I breathed deeply. I thought about how I’m SO not going to wait another seven years for my next bubble bath. Quite frankly, I don’t know if I’ll even be able to wait seven days. So at least I’ve got that to look forward to post-Christmas (oh, and some insanely fun New Year’s plans…but more on that…later). Merry Christmas!