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Move over Martha and get real!

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Despite being covered in bright, white lights, the Christmas tree sat for several days in my living room naked!

I walked around it, moved it to one side, and even carried the ornaments up from the basement but it sat there until I couldn’t take it anymore and I stayed up past midnight last week hanging the ornaments so it would be finished.

A couple days before that, I had about an hour before I had to go cover an event for the paper, so I ran downstairs and dragged out my Christmas stuff. I’m blessed because I don’t have a little bit of Christmas stuff. My Christmas obsession, I mean decorations, take up nearly half a storage room in my basement, so it usually takes me longer than an hour to get it out and start putting it up.

I rushed out to take photos of an event and didn’t get back to the actual decorating until the next evening when I found myself with an hour and a half before a dozen women descended on my house for a makeup party that I agreed to host in a moment of weakness for a friend.

I came up with a system where I’d fill a laundry basket full of decorations and run them up the stairs and quickly fling, set, toss and distribute them around the house.

At one point, I laughed at myself and my inventive way to “speed” decorate.

I did what I could in the short time available and still managed to make the place look Christmasy!

The next afternoon, I found myself with about an hour before I had to go to my mom’s house and help her put up her Christmas tree, so I ran outside and flung up a few outside decorations. I didn’t get them hooked up to electric. That actually took me another week and finally my husband took pity on me and hooked them up for me.

Now, as Christmas approaches (yes, it’s only eight days away from the date of this issue), I still haven’t hung the lighted garland or the new snowflake lights. I didn’t even set out all of my snowmen or all of my nativity sets.

And I don’t think I’m going to have enough time to get it done, but I’ve decided that I’m giving myself permission to let go.

Sure I’d like to be a “Martha Stewart” kind of girl with everything perfectly decorated, the perfect Christmas baked goods flying out of my oven and all of the presents I’ll be giving wrapped in paper that I made from my personal printing press and then decorated with stamps I also made in my spare time, but it ain’t gonna happen.

If I’m honest with myself and the rest of the world, I’m more of a grab the pre-made cookie dough and bake it while I’m up wrapping into the wee hours of Christmas morning.

A girl can dream, right?

Last week, in between all of my hurrying and scurrying, I found myself with 10 minutes to spare. I sat down and just stared at my tree and then, surrounded by all the wrappings and trappings of Christmas, it hit me, kinda like it did the Grinch just as all of Whoville’s stuff was about to plummet over the side of Mount Crumpet.

Christmas is pretty simple, or it should be. Christmas is about the greatest gift we could ever get – a baby born in a manger, destined to die on a cross for our sins. It’s about remembering those less fortunate and sharing our blessings with them and it’s about taking a minute to appreciate the little things and the people in our lives that make them brighter.

Merry Christmas and to all a peaceful, joyous holiday.

(Jamie Baker-Nantz is editor of the Grant County News and can be reached at jbakernantz@grantky.com or by phone at 859-824-3343.)