For the past ten years we have hosted an annual Christmas party with two other home school families. It began when the children we much younger. We don't meet with either family for school anymore but the children insisted we still had to have the party. "It's tradition!", This year's (or can I now say last year's) Christmas party was delayed due to illness (I had a flu bug) and the next available date for everyone was not until the first week in January.
Typically, I like to have everything down and put away on New Year's Day. As a home school mom people get the impression that we have an abundant amount of time to get things like that done but the truth is -at least my truth is- I don't have time to spend a whole day taking things apart, packing them up and then dragging it all up the pull-down stairs to the attic, to speak nothing of the vacuuming and dusting afterwards. It is also a lot easier to get things to the attic with Mr.'s help. We needed to be ready to dive back into full-time school work January 2nd. With that all in mind I started taking things down and packing them away the morning of January 1st and as soon as my girls realized what I was doing they started whining like four-year-olds. No offense to four-year-olds. So some things made it to the attic but most of the stuff got left out for the belated Christmas party.
I mused that at least the menu could be a little more sophisticated since they are all getting older and their palates are more mature. Ha! I verbalized that to one mom and then an email came from the other mom expressing the her children were so excited about having our annual pizza puffs! Really?! My girls concurred, of course. "Mom (insert whiny voice here), we have to have to have pizza puffs! (Say it with me.....) It's tradition!" I can hear Tevya from Fiddler On The Roof singing right now! So pizza puffs and gingerbread cake it was. I did manage to sneak in a different punch with no complaints.
The party was a success. It was nice to hold onto Christmas a little longer. The girls were right. Keeping things up did lend to a festive atmosphere. The children used to play games like snowball fight in my kitchen. No.....not real snowballs! We would used wadded up tissue paper and there was a line across the center of the room. Whichever team ended up with the least amount of snowballs on their side of the room at the buzzer won the match. My kitchen is not huge but when they were little it was fine. As they got older the thought of them being able to play like that in the kitchen seemed comical as just having us all stand in the kitchen made it crowded. We also used to do colonial dancing with the kids. Now, before you roll your eyes you should know that the kids liked it. Really. The girls used to dress up when we would take them to Sturbridge Village, they liked it! Really!
Now we settle for less physically active games. The kids enjoy talking and reminiscing about "the good old days". It was fun for us as moms to listen to their recollections of Christmases past. As moms who teach at home we often wonder if we are doing everything they need. Conversations that day served to assure me that what we have done at home has been worthwhile. I don't know how many more of these parties we have in our future as the children grow, go off to college and move on from childhood things. In the grand scheme of things waiting an extra week (or three) to pack things away really was not a big sacrifice. One day is coming when thoughts trying to get my home in order while schooling and living in a transition mess will be forgotten. What will remain are the memories of laughter, excited chatter, carols sung, children dancing and the joy of just spending time celebrating the blessings we have because of what God has given us.