As I look at my to do list, I can tell Christmas is coming. The next two months are among the busiest of the year for me. I've planned the Thanksgiving Eve service, and I'm almost done with my part of the Sunday School Christmas program. My secretary is bugging me for newsletter articles, and the list goes on....
My first year here I started a tradition that is a lot of fun and tons of work. I host a Christmas open house in early December and invite the congregation. The first years my parents, who love cooking and entertaining, would come and do the bulk of the work. Obviously, that is no longer possible. I've already begun preparations for the open house, which will be December 14. We give the house a deep cleaning, and we prepare lots of food. I've already made sausage balls and put them in the freezer, and I have purchased some of the things I need for other items I'll make.
One of the challenges is that if I start making the sweet stuff too early, Daughter will get into it. She has found every hiding place in the house. She will promise me she will stay out of something, and she intends to, but it just seems to be beyond her. I made orange cranberry muffins from a mix this morning. It was part of the reward for being patient with my schedule today. She'd seen the mix last week when we were shopping and begged me to get it, assuring me she'd leave them alone and be safe with them. Since we bought them, she's been bugging me to make them, so this morning I did, and she had two for breakfast. At supper time she had another one with some soup.
Now I had carefully measured these out so they would match the serving size on the box and I could figure out her carbs for her insulin. So this evening I asked when she had the muffins. She insisted she hadn't. I carefully counted the muffins left in the bags and the muffins we'd eaten. Two were missing. The closest she could get to telling me when she'd eaten them was "not too long ago." She'd already had three today that were figured into her diet. If she'd talked to me about it, we'd have figured out a way to get more into her diet. But she didn't talk to me, she just ate them. I've explained many times that that is the reason I don't get her things like this more often.
It's also the reason I dread beginning preparing the cookies for our Christmas open house. The baking will multiply our stress, because I'll be trying to keep the baked goods away from Daughter, and she'll be battling with her desire to eat them all and her knowledge that that's not good for her. There's also just the sheer volume of cleaning, cooking, and holiday worship planning that needs to be done. I long ago gave up on the idea of sending out Christmas cards, I just couldn't squeeze one more thing in. I suspect Dad will convince me to write a Christmas letter for them. When the open house arrives, I'll decide it was worth all the work. Right now, it threatens to feel overwhelming. Monday I'll set down and figure out what I've accomplished and what needs to get done. I'll spread out the work and hope that I've allowed enough wiggle room for the inevitable crises. Last year after all the work, we had a snow storm and we ended up canceling everything that was scheduled for that day. I hope that this year the weather, at least, will cooperate.