Saturday Six #8: Countdown

Usually, by the time I get to this point in December, I’m already starting to feel the letdown of Christmas being over. I know, I know, that’s kind of lame when Christmas is still a week out, but sometimes, I’m so excited about anticipating Christmas that when it gets this close, it almost feels like it’s passed. So for today’s post, I’m sharing some of the things I still have to do, the things I can still be excited about, to keep that pre-letdown at bay. It’s My Last-Six-Days-Before-Christmas Countdown!

He might not sit for Advent, but he did a great job with sugar cookie cutouts.

December 19: Cookie Baking. Today we baked cookies. We aren’t baking nearly as many this year since there aren’t any gatherings, and we don’t need all those cookies sitting around the house for us to eat. We’re even making some half batches. I have lots of little kitchen helpers, so a couple years ago I decided that, instead of everyone getting their hands into everything, each kid gets to pick one recipe to help with. It cuts back on the crazy, at least a little bit!

December 20: Last Sunday of Advent. Tomorrow we’ll light the last blue candle and hang more cloth figures on the Advent calendar my mom made. We’ve been pretty good about keeping up with Advent this year, though it can be a struggle to get the three-year-old to sit, even for five minutes. We end each mini-lesson with a well-known carol, and I love listening to all those little voices sing.

We couldn’t find an Advent wreath, so my mom whipped this one up. She’s amazing.

December 21: Shopping. This seems like it will be a good day to get some last-minute shopping done, for gifts and for the food we’ll be preparing. Speaking of that, I should probably nail down a menu…

December 22: Lights. I think we’ll try to get to a big, local lights display this day. Lights displays are the perfect COVID-friendly holiday activity, and I’m excited for the chance to listen to some of my Christmas CDs on the way. Living less than five minutes from work and not traveling this year, I haven’t had much chance to enjoy them.

December 23: Movie. There are several Christmas movies I haven’t watched yet, so I’m aiming to get at least one of them in this week.

December 24: Christmas Eve Service. I love Christmas Eve church. It’s not something I grew up doing, which makes me love it all the more as a tradition now. At our church in Ohio, we had a candlelight service; we lit our candles at the very end while singing “Silent Night,” and it was always a very emotional finish. This year, Christmas Eve service will be in our cars in the parking lot, but I’m actually really excited about it. Our church has done so much to keep things wonderful and festive this Advent season, so I know it will still be a joyful celebration…and a (hopefully) unique memory. Also, I will probably do a decidedly pagan snow-dance on Christmas Eve since right now, we’re forecast to get about an inch overnight, and I’d really like to see that happen!

Our oldest at Christmas Eve service in 2014. A favorite picture, for obvious reasons.

There’s definitely still a lot to look forward to, even if Christmas 2020 will soon be under our belts. A few weeks ago, before the COVID vaccine was approved, I wasn’t even feeling all that excited about 2021. But now that light is shining, way down at the end of the tunnel, and even once Christmas is over, there’s a lot to be exited about…and thankful for.

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