Countdown to Christmas 2018

One week is all there is left before Christmas 2018.  We don’t have a tree.  Our Elf on the Shelf has only moved a few times.  I’m not feeling terribly festive or joyful.  I’m not sure why.  It just hasn’t seemed like much of a holiday season this year.  We live in the community next to Paradise, CA where the Camp Fire ravaged an entire city.  I can’t say that it has personally impacted me much physically, but mentally, I’m just not feeling like celebrating much this year.  Every time I am out and about, I hear stories.  My Facebook feed is filled with friends digging through ashes at their former homes, looking for a few remnants to take to their new “homes” (many are still in hotels or trailers or sleeping on couches).  And although there are many stories of resilience and selfless giving and joyful reunions with animals, there is still an entire community that no longer exists in our midst.  

I feel the excesses of our lives so much more acutely this year.  I see the piles of things that barely get touched other than to move them from one location to another.  I feel guilty for having so much while others have nothing.  I feel even guiltier for not caring for what we have in a way that allows us to give to others.  But, most of all, I am overwhelmed.  I am overwhelmed with things to do, things to clean, things to organize, papers to grade, clothes to wash, more papers to grade, classes to prep.  And yet, none of it seems to be important anymore.  I mean, sure I want to go see lights and give my daughter a joyful Christmas, but then I think, what brings joy?  Presents?  Decorating?  Lights?  I feel like I’m jaded and I’ve jaded her.  I feel like I’m at the beginning of a Hallmark Christmas Movie, but there is no progression to the spirit of Christmas coming and rescuing us.  And the worst thing is that I don’t even know why I feel this way.  

So, the question is how do I focus on making this last week before Christmas be one of joy and celebration instead of just plodding along, getting things done (sort of) and feeling blah?  I think a Christmas Countdown Bucket List is in order!  So, here is my seven days to Christmas Countdown list:

  • Get a tree!  Even a small tree that we can put some decorations on and enjoy the lights twinkling will be better than what we have now.  So, that is the first order of business.  We have a permit to go cut one down, but it sounds daunting and difficult, so getting small one as a temporary solution should help.
  • Christmas Concert! My daughter is performing in the Winter Choir Concert at her school tomorrow.  So, we’ll make an evening of it.  
  • Christmas Caroling!  We will be caroling at a couple of nursing homes with my Girl Scout troop on Wednesday afternoon/evening.  
  • Mall shopping! I think one of the things I struggle with/miss is shopping during the season.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but I used to love going to the mall and seeing all the festive decorations and kids lined up to see Santa Claus.  I shop mostly online now and it is just not the same feeling to get a box on your front porch as it is to carry bags around the mall.  So, I think I’ll plan to visit the mall with my DD on Friday.  We’ll make a trip out of it – lunch and some treats are in order!
  • Christmas movie marathon! I had given up my Sling TV subscription just before Thanksgiving because it was all Christmas movies and I missed Murder She Wrote.  But, I think for this last week before Christmas, I will renew the subscription and put on the cheesy Hallmark Christmas Movies!  Glory to the predictable storylines and sentimental endings!  
  • Make Christmas cookies! I am not a baker, but I do love making some simple cookies and giving them to people.  So, I will plan to do that this week as well.  I think I will make some on Wednesday while my DD is at school and save one recipe to make with her before or after caroling that day.
  • Go see Christmas lights and get hot chocolate! Our local paper just put out its annual Christmas lights map this weekend, so we will take that and go see some lights and get some hot chocolate and listen to Christmas music!

There you have it!  Seven things to do during the last seven days before Christmas to try to get into the Christmas spirit.  Here’s hoping it works!  

What are you doing to get countdown to Christmas?  Is anything missing off of my list?