I've been up and down like a freaking yo yo, and even more so with the holidays.
A few weeks ago, I decided to host an open house/Christmas Eve party at my new place. Sort of like a Christmasy housewarming party. I've invited (by word of mouth) some of my neighbors who I've become friends with, and some of the families that Jacob goes to school with. I've also invited the woman I mentioned in a recent post whose husband died two years ago, leaving her and her four children. I'll be posting more about her soon...
My brother and his family will be in northern California at his in-laws, but I'm fairly certain a lot of people are going to show up, including at least a dozen kids.
By last week, I was cursing myself, wondering what the hell was I thinking hosting a big party on Christmas Eve when I can't keep my shit together on just a normal day.
One day, when I was in a total funk and completely overwhelmed with everything, the tears were right at the surface and I just couldn't hold them back. I dropped Jacob off at school, and one of my friends looked at me funny, like trying to figure out what the expression on my face was, and I just burst into tears. I could not turn it off the entire day. She, along with another mom at the school that I've become friends with, saved me that day. I mean, they literally rescued me. They came home with me that morning and helped me with the mountains of laundry that had piled up, wrapped most of the Christmas gifts so I could get a couple of packages in the mail in time, addressed some of my Christmas cards (the next batch is gonna have to go out after Christmas - sorry everybody), and were just incredibly wonderful. I at least provided them with lunch, but I was lousy company. It was amazing what they did for me that day - in so many ways.
After I started coming out of my funk, I began to get a little excited again about the party. Only a couple of days ago, I finally decided on a menu. It's not gourmet, but the whole point is to get everyone together, right?
When I decided to host this party, I wrote a letter to Santa to go along with Jacob's letter to Santa to the local Chamber of Commerce (every year they take letters to Santa and sometimes Santa will respond by showing up at their house on Christmas Eve). I told Santa about my kids, the other kids that will be here, and how much it would mean to the grown ups to see the smiles on their faces. I don't know if he'll show up, but regardless, Santa has a little something for each child to open at our house on Christmas Eve.
I love playing Santa... it's saving me from myself. I just got done wrapping a bunch of little gifts (I got several extras just in case of surprise visitors), and it's 1:30am. As tired as I am right now, the anticipation of providing these kids with a happy Christmas is fueling me with energy.
Matt used to get a kick out of me on Christmas morning, because I would wake up before everyone else since I was too excited to sleep in. He asked me with a laugh, "Are you going to wake the kids up now?" and I'd say, "No, of course not." and give him a guilty look like, "Yes - I really want to! What the heck are they waiting for?! It's Christmas, for crying out loud!" And then the torture would continue because even after they wake up, we have to wait until after breakfast to open gifts!
As much as I'm dreading waking up on another Christmas morning without my love by my side, I can't wait to see the look on my kids' faces when they walk into the living room...