The gifts are wrapped, packages sent off that need to be sent off (late, but, hey, there are twelve days of Christmas), guest room readied, living room uncluttered, greenhouse cleaned up and watered... Now all that's left to do is clean the rest of the house, string lights and cook. No biggie. Hah!
Fortunately, all of the family and friends know what they're getting into when they come here. This is a farm. There's dirt. We heat with wood... more dirt. Plants are everywhere in this house. Still more dirt.
Everyone also knows that I always wrap packages in used Christmas paper. With re-used bows and ribbon. I just cannot bear to throw away the beautiful paper that other people wrap our gifts in. So I save it. I have stacks and stacks of perfectly re-usable Christmas paper. It's not that I give fewer gifts than others give us, it's just that some family members decided years ago to save their paper and give it to me. They thought that would be funny. I think it's wonderful. I'll bet no one on the planet has the variety of paper to choose from that I have.
But I confess that sometimes the packages look a little, well, rumpled. And sometimes there are bare spots where tape has been pulled off, taking the color with it. I try to conceal these blemishes with stickers or bows or ribbon. Sometimes, that works. Sometimes, it just looks like I'm trying to cover up some mess with stickers or bows or ribbon.
This year, I decided that Christmas is for kids, mostly because I lacked inspiration for big people gifts... without Amazon wish lists I'd be in deep trouble. Unfortunately, most of the intended recipients of my Christmas gifts don't have wish lists or don't keep them updated. Those people are getting coals and switches. No, not really. I bought them all books. I say you can never have too many books. But I didn't know what books they each liked so they're all getting the same one, one someone recently sent me and I liked. It's small so it's easy to fit it into areas of old wrapping paper that look reasonably respectable. What do you bet next year some of my friends and family update their Amazon wish lists?
Here's hoping everyone has a peaceful, happy, holiday season. I know, that's asking for miracles in this stress-filled world at a stressful time. But they tell me Christmas started with a miracle, so why not hope for another?