All is Calm...

"Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright"

It's clear that Franz Gruber (who composed the melody to the much loved song) and Father Joseph Mohr were living in a different world than we face today. And I doubt either had to deal with children/family on the week leading up to Christmas.

All is NOT calm...and looking out my window all isn't bright.  (The tune playing in MY head is "In the Bleak Midwinter" even though we aren't even officially in winter yet!)

One of the reasons I made this past Sunday a family day of fun and relaxing (sort of) is because I knew this week was NOT going to be calm.  This week was (and is) chaotic.

Let me give you a picture of what this week before the holiday break at school looks like for my family:

  • Monday:  After school my son had choir rehearsal, rehearsal for the spring musical and then walked home.  (I was going to pick him up, but I got delayed at the office and no surprise, traffic was horrific.)  Ten minutes after he got home he had an hour of tutoring.  (Which is actually more relaxing than you might think as his tutor is a wonderful teacher and person who is helping not just with the subject but with building his confidence when it comes to taking tests.)  I threw together a quick dinner before he headed upstairs to do some more homework and study.
  • Tuesday:  Because of the ice and rain, I drove my son to school.  He has one quiz today (which I hope he has studied enough for!)  He has rehearsal again this afternoon, but will miss it as he has a dentist's appointment.  This is actually good because he'll get home earlier and have more time to study for a quiz on Thursday and work on an essay that is due Friday. Unless he asks me to drive him back to school after the dentist to catch the end of rehearsal, which is a possibility.
  • Wednesday:  No rehearsal because the winter concert is today.  I'm guessing he'll need to be there an hour or so before the performance and that the concert (which consists of several bands and two choirs) will be about 90 minutes long.  Hoping that he can find time to study for Thursday's quiz and work on Friday's essay.  Forget trying to do anything after the concert; you know he'll be wound up.
  • Thursday:  Math quiz!  Final rehearsal before winter break.  Finish that essay.
  • Friday:  Essay due.  How focused are these kids going to be in school with the winter break coming up?  
So where is the calm in all of this?  And I have only one kid!  Calm for those who have more than one?  Calm for those who have younger ones?  I doubt it!

The week before Christmas?  All is not calm...but what we can do is prepare for the chaos and accept it.   Plan as best you can to make the week as stress-less as possible.  (For me that meant a giant can of chili for dinner last night...quick, easy and everyone likes it.  Clean up was easy too.  Maybe not the everynight choice, but it worked.)  Expect bumps in the road and accept them as best you can.  (Not easy I know.)

Finally know that once the holiday is over, you might actually get a few moments of calm.  I have to admit one of my favorite parts of Christmas Eve is AFTER the evening church service is over and everyone is ready for bed, I climb into my own bed with a frosty adult beverage and enjoy "A Christmas Story." (It doesn't matter where I pick up the's all good.)  For me, it is then that all is finally least until the next morning.


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