Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Despite my efforts in keeping the holiday simple, I feel overwhelmed by Christmas this year. 

I didn't give anyone a Christmas list for me; I do not need a thing. 

I didn't put up half my regular decorations because of a curious toddler with an impressive reach. Instead, we've watched all the classics such as Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman and Charlie Brown Christmas. 

We didn't make it through Frosty. 
Every other day we have the, "Who do we still need to buy for?" conversation and I find myself trying to think of "stuff" to fill a quota. I think that is where the overwhelming feeling sets in. I don't want to live in a Christmas quota house. 

I bought a container of ornaments two weeks ago to hang on our outdoor wreath and mantle greenery inside the house. Because half would end up outside, I bought the plastic "shatterproof" kind. 

On the same evening that I brought them home, Caroline had the container on its side and was sitting on it like a sparkly pony, bouncing into the next frontier. I was doing dishes, wondering where the draft was coming from, when I heard the bouncing but I didn't think much of it. 

"Lindsay! CJ is on your ornaments! She's riding your ornaments!" Cody called from a room over. 

I didn't react much, I think because the dish water was warm on my cold hands. "Oh, it's ok. They're shatterproof," I called over to him. 

And they are. 

Since purchase, they've been rode like a pony, rolled off a chair, drug around in a bucket, hidden in a toy box, thrown like a fit, tossed in the shower and a few were even hung on greenery. And sure enough, they're shatterproof.

I often think it would be easier - life, I mean - if we were shatterproof, too. So that we wouldn't break when relationships went bad or jobs were unfulfilling or disappointment saturated our soul. We wouldn't know when the ending was bad or the middle was mediocre or the beginning was awkward. 

Shatterproof would be best at funerals and tough first semesters; it would be great when the truck drove slowly down the road never to be seen again or on lonely Saturday nights before "the one" showed up. 

But then I think of all the things we'd miss if we were shatterproof. 

There would be no temporary conversations between dads and daughters, no walks home from the last college class worth any recollection or no more kissing boo-boos.

There would be no more feelings at kindergarten round up, no more butterflies over first glances, no more pride in the graduate. 

There would be no more excitement when the front door opens up, no more joy on the swing set or no more hand shakes worth remembering. We'd not know eulogies, mentors or last first dates. Never again would we experience wonder in a child's eyes at Christmas, the last conversation with granddad or experience an answered prayer. 

We'd have no more Hallmark Channel. And even though the story lines are identical and the kiss always happens in the last 3 minutes, I really like the Hallmark Channel. 

If we were shatterproof, we'd not know the greatest pain or joy, we'd grapple with general, rather than experience the extraordinary. 

So in terms of shatterproof, I'll stick to Christmas bulbs, and remain confident that it is both a blessing and a burden that we're able to feel everything so very deeply.

An exception for the shatterproof? This keepsake Nebraska Huskers bulb from 1995 - it was definitely not shatterproof, though I sure wish it was. Any Husker friends out there know where I can get a replacement?


  1. I loved this post. I struggle with trying to make everyone happy. "I have to make this cookie because it's so and so's favorite." "I have to make that snack mix for him and this other one for her so everyone gets their favorite." I think it's more me putting pressure on myself than anything else. Being Type A at this time of year is not ideal. However, I wouldn't want to be shatterproof either (though it might be handy on occasion). Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    By the way, I broke a 20-year-old ornament this year. It made me a little sad, but I suppose I won't remember next year. Hope you find your replacement - even though I'm a big K-State fan.

  2. Let me see what I can do. Going to Lincoln this week and I'll check around for you.