Donna Smaldone
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Sunday / December 18 / 2011

Are YOU ready for Christmas?

My cherished grandson Brody REALLY enjoys making (read: eating) gingerbread houses (December 4, 2011 at Christ Church)
My cherished grandson Brody REALLY enjoys making (read: eating) gingerbread houses (December 4, 2011 at Christ Church)

Tis the season to be asked over and over, “Are you ready for Christmas!?” It’s a seasonal question we pull out every year. Part of our comfortable, don’t-get-to-deep language; like asking, “How are you?” after you’ve said hello.

For the past several years, I’ve adopted a new outlook. When people ask, “Are you ready for Christmas!?” (in an increasingly panicked tone, emphasis on the word ‘you’), I respond, “yes!”

What does ‘ready’ really mean? For me, it’s not about baking, shopping, or decorating (although I love all three… made-from-scratch gingerbread houses topping the list, for certain).

It’s about the sense of wonder in the air. The expectant look in a child’s eyes. The shared memory-making family moments. The beautiful mystery of the birth of our Savior.

Further, it’s about smells, sights, and sounds. Living in upstate New York, there’s a crispness in the air you can smell. Not to mention the aromatic delights of evergreen, gingerbread, and hot cider.

I love Christmas! I get giddy!!

Christmas is about my son Grant coming home for the holidays. It’s about waking up on Christmas morning whenever 16-month-old Brody determines it’s time for us all to get up, and smiling because I’m surrounded by my whole family. It’s about sharing sentiments while partaking in the tradition of opłatek.

My family has a beautiful, Polish Christmas Eve tradition that includes oplatek – and homemade pierogies. I made dozens of them last year and they were amazing! But following my spirit of “you can’t do everything!”, they may be Mrs. T’s frozen (delicious!) pierogies this year.

We’ll attend the candlelight Christmas Eve service at Christ Church, with Skip leading the music team. In true Von Trapp Family style, Grant, Brittany, and I will all participate in the music with him. Giddy!

Christmas Eve will conclude with the traditional reading of, “The Night Before Christmas”. Every year growing up, my Dad would read this story – me, my big brother Mark, and my little sister Debbie (and often our pets) – all curled up in his lap!

I don’t think Brittany and Grant can fit on Skip’s lap, but they’ll be on either side as Brody takes his turn curled up in Papa’s lap to hear the traditional tale.

Do I have all my shopping, baking, and decorating done? Nope. But those aren’t the things any of us will remember this time next year.

I’m “ready” because I’ve embraced the season. I’m “ready” because I choose to relish the moments leading up to Christmas. Join me. Don’t get lost in the hustle-bustle craziness, only to find come December 26th, you never really had a Christmas.

Are you ready for Christmas?

14 responses to “Are YOU ready for Christmas?”

  1. Sue says:

    Awesome Donna!! Merry Christmas to all of you 🙂

  2. Dawn says:

    Exactly—-My answer is always YES!!!!!

  3. Kelly says:

    Perfectly said, Donna!!! Have a wonderful Christmas!!
    Kelly

  4. Barbara says:

    Wonderful Donna!

    I feel as though the line ‘Don’t get lost in the hustle-bustle craziness, only to find come December 26th, you never really had a Christmas’ was written JUST for me!!! Truly had that feeling the last few years and have been determined to change that.

    Mrs T’s pierogies are DELISH, I heart them! Best wishes for continued success in 2012 and enjoy your Christmas celebration.
    Barbara

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      I love your determination, Barbara. And indeed, it will pay off. Stay strong!

      Mrs. T’s pierogies ARE delish… especially with friend onions. YUM!

      Wishing you peace, joy, wonder, and fulfillment this Christmas.

      Love,
      Donna

  5. De says:

    Thank you Donna, wonderful entry reminding us of the important things! I figure if a guest at our home on Christmas notices a ‘dust bunny’ in the corner, or the disarray of furniture to make room for the tree; they’re there for the wrong reason!

    Merry Christmas & God Bless you & yours!

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      Or, may I suggest they may be thinking, “Oh thank goodness I’m not the only one!!”

      It’s never the “stuff” that makes the memory list. It’s the experiences. Enjoy each one.

      Merry Christmas to you, too. And God bless you!

      Love,
      Donna

  6. Rick says:

    Wow!
    What a great reminder.
    What a refocusing on what’s truly important about the Christmas season.
    The excitement and magic of Christmas runs all the way through this post, Donna. I have no doubt what you’ve written here will make a positive difference in the lives of some of your readers.
    I love the picture you paint of the holiday season you enjoyed in the past and the one you enjoy today.
    You REALLY know what Christmas is all about. Thanks for sharing this with us, Donna.
    All the very best to you and yours this Christmas season.

    • Donna Smaldone says:

      Thank you so much, Rick. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from this post – and even some “thank yous” for the reminder.

      It’s not about how much we do, it’s about why we do the things we do and with what attitude!

      Love and Merry Christmas,
      Donna

  7. Carrie says:

    Thanks Donna! Great Post!
    Merry Christmas!! Enjoy every minute with your family.
    I’m looking forward to it too!
    Carrie

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