I've finally accepted it - chaos will reign during the first week of Advent. There are boxes of decorations all over the living room. The tree is up and decorated, and the Nativity scene is arranged on the buffet in the dining room; but the wreaths and garlands are still in their boxes along with the Santa collection that will eventually be on the kitchen window sill. The gifts I ordered online have started to arrive so boxes from Amazon are sitting around here and there, waiting to be inspected and wrapped in Christmas paper.
As we approach Christmas Day, the chaos gradually disappears. All the decorations get where they're supposed to be, the gifts get wrapped and find their way under the Christmas tree. Maybe there's some symbolism here. Our lives are chaotic when our spirits are far removed from God; but as we approach God, our lives straighten out and become more orderly. At least that's been my experience.
I always like to read a Christmas novel at this time of year. In spite of all the chaos around here, I managed to finish Christmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson. The story was as good as the picture on the cover - a pretty young woman in a red coat, peering at a Christmas tree in the window of a department store while snow flakes drift down on the sidewalk. It's an inspiring story about redemption and about picking yourself up and starting over when the circumstances tell you to give up.
I have not even started addressing Christmas cards. I usually have that done before the first of December. Maybe my knee surgery has something to do with my being behind schedule this year. The surgery was in August, but it's just in the last month that I've started to feel like I'm getting back to normal.
We've received three Christmas cards already. At least some people have it all together this year. The first card to arrive was from an Australian pen pal. There's a beautiful snow scene on the front of the card even though it's summer in Australia. I guess our down-under friends know that a Christmas card with a beach scene and Santa in a red swim suit would look weird to us. I need to locate one of those Louisiana Christmas cards to send to Australia - you know, a card that shows Santa's sleigh being pulled by eight alligators.
The second card we received was from a local business, and the third one was from Governor Bobby Jindal. It's a nice card with a photo of the Governor and his family and a notation that no tax dollars were used in sending these cards out to constituents. Politicians have to be careful about these things.
I can tell that Teche (the house cat) is annoyed with the Christmas chaos. Our four foot tree is on his favorite end table - the one by the window where he likes to stretch out. He has a good view there of the bird feeders in the back yard. Another favorite spot of his - the coffee table - is littered with boxes. The striped wing-back chair is full of packing material. I'm trying to keep the wicker chair clear - that's his favorite napping spot. If I pile it up, Teche might decide to leave home.
I guess you've noticed that this is a rambling, disjointed post - making it perfectly appropriate for the first week in Advent.