The holidays are coming.
Too soon for me as my Christmas cards are still in the box waiting for me to take the time to write in them and pop them in the mail. But whether I’m ready or not, the holidays will be here shortly.
I love Christmas.
I love the sharing and open conversations that occur over cookies and eggnog (or Kahlua and cream), with colored lights around us, and Dean Martin singing, Baby It’s Cold Out There.
I’ve been really busy the last several weeks and there’s no let up until after next week. Cookies? Not a one in the house. And I love to bake. Poor Alex has been without cookies or gobs for months. Good for me that he’s a patient man.
Hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to have friends come to visit for wine, snacks and conversation. No formal dinners, nothing fancy. Our tenure in these friendships ranges from almost two years to over ten. I’ve no need to impress them with anything. By now they’re used to my casualness.
Our house is clean but not spotless, tidy but not showcase material. Could I find the time to clean it from top to bottom, including the baseboards that I never think about, before friends stop by? Sure, but what suffers as a result? My writing time? My business work? Time with Alex? Cookie baking?
Would my friends even care? Maybe if the bathroom sink had scum around the edges or the kitchen floor were covered with stains. Maybe then I’d get a wise guy comment or two. I’m pretty good at maintaining those things—it’s rather necessary, isn’t it? Simple cleanliness. Like wiping the stove off after cooking or rinsing the sink out when you’ve used the garbage disposal.
But what about the dust?
I hate dusting.
I’ve always hated dusting. When I was a kid Mom had an old can vac I’d use on the wooden and linoleum throughout the house. I’d take the floor head off, put on the round one with the bristles that I think was supposed to be for curtains (who does that?) and I’d use it for dusting the coffee tables, end tables…oh, you name it—I dusted/vacuumed it.
I did until Mom caught me sucking cigarette butts out of the ashtray with it, and demanded to know what I was doing. I thought I was being efficient. She did not agree.
In college, I would take off a sock, wipe the dust from some surface and then toss the sock in the laundry. You’d think only college guys would do that, eh? My socks never smelled as badly as theirs did.
Back to the present day. Alex uses the best filters in our furnace. We have well-sealed windows. We live on a quiet street. Still the dust comes. It settles on our dressers, nightstands, and tables. And it stays.
I dust with a microfiber cloth. I vacuum. The next day, the dust is back. I don’t feel like I’m ever ahead of it. So when our friends come to visit, they’ll get to meet our resident dust bunnies. Maybe they’ll only mind if I start naming the fuzzy little critters.
In the meantime, Erma Bombeck had it right, didn’t she? Live life more, clean the house less.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!