When I look through my Facebook feed, it would seem that all of my friends and family are super ready for Christmas. Lots of photos of beautifully decorated trees, lovely Christmas cookies, festive holiday parties and home-made gifts.

Well, I am not one of those people. In fact, if I can manage to get the outdoor lights – which are left up in the apple tree all year – plugged in by Christmas, that in itself will be a Christmas miracle. All bets are off, however, as this will require me actually finding the extension cord.

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When my kids were little, Christmas seemed especially hectic. That’s because when I was a kid, my parents always had lots of presents for me and my siblings under the tree, so of course, I carried that over into my own little family. Sure, I love watching the kids open lots of presents, but it also creates lots of stress on multiple levels – money, time, yada yada.

We used to send out a nice holiday photo card, but the past couple years, we just didn’t get to it. And then there’s the matter of the photo calendar I always give my husband every year, which includes our annual anniversary photo at the Old Mission Congregational Church, where we were married in 1993. It’s a nice little photo diary of everything that happened during the year, but actually getting it to him ON Christmas has been a lost cause the past few years. In 2016, he finally got it in June.

Anyway, I’ll cut myself a little slack this year since much of the fall was devoted to getting my mom settled into Orchard Creek Supportive Care in town, and then cleaning out her house, which uncovered a treasure trove of Old Mission history. That picture at the top of this post? That’s just a tiny portion of the stuff from mom’s house that’s now packed into my house. I don’t mind, though. For one thing, I now have a lifetime supply of Old Mission history stories for the Gazette.

And about all those Christmas presents? Well, with two kids in college, there’s not a lot of extra cash around here, so I guess we’ll have a low-stress Christmas. I’ll work on getting those apple tree lights plugged in, and who knows, maybe Tim will even get his photo calendar before June.

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