Umm…Christmas is next week! Panic alert!!!
When I was a kid, the 25 days of December that lead to Christmas, took years to pass. I remember the week before Christmas felt like the longest week of the year. How could December go by sooooo slowly?!?!?
Fast forward 25 years and I spent this morning in a serious “What the what?! Christmas is next week?!?!?” panic. I don’t know what the years do to time but it does not pass in the same way that it once did – I am finding that some days it goes on without me, and I am left wildly trying to catch up.
I had this perfect idea of my boys and I going Christmas shopping together and letting them help me pick out everybody’s gifts. I saw this adorable picture in my head of my handsome little men (One in a green shirt and one in red, of course) and we were skipping along at the mall as Christmas music filled our ears and a distant Santa waved and winked our way. This is when I break out in song “BROWN PAPER PACKAGES TIED UP WITH STRING…THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS…” Now we find a nice scarf and my 3 year old, Landon, says “Mother, I do believe Father would fancy this scarf. May we buy it for him to bless his Christmas?” and I answer “Of course my dear, and look, it’s on sale.” This makes my almost 2 year old, Corbin, giggle and respond “God bless us everyone.”
Wake up! You’re at the mall with your 1 and 3 year old, you thought it would be fun to leave the stroller in the car because you are obviously lacking something in your brain that links you to reality.
My 1 year old has a new habit of “line walking.” He literally finds the line where tile meets on the floor and obsessively follows it. So Corbin is “Line Walking” at the Rotterdam Mall and any attempts to derail him are met with absolute and utter toddler meltdown, the kind where somehow their shirt comes off in the tussle. Landon wants to buy the huge gum dispenser for Daddy for Christmas and won’t leave its side “YES! He will like it, Mommy. Daddy likes Gum.” Landon’s argument holds up, but I inform him we can’t afford it. “We can buy more money!” Hold that thought Landon, Corbin found a piece of candy on the floor “NOOOOO!” Too late! We did finally get to see Santa, and I rushed past him with no intent of stopping and mumbled under my breath “I got your ho ho right here” as I made my way to the exit.
Needless to say, we got home with not one gift for anyone. After another failed attempt at Walmart that ended in sugary drinks, double meltdowns and $28 spent with, again, no Christmas presents purchased, I gave in to “on-line shopping.” It wasn’t the picture I had in mind, but as it turns out it is ever so convenient. I did get to sip on coffee and listen to Christmas music while I ordered things so there was a hint of festivity in the mundane clicking of my Christmas shopping. Unfortunately, I waited until the last minute and I’m cheap so I refuse to pay extra for shipping and can expect my gifts 2-3 days before Christmas. Luckily for me, my Husband had already done on-line shopping for our boys so their gifts are safely hidden in the attic, and many of them are even wrapped.
This morning I looked at my Calendar and realized that Corbin’s 2nd birthday party is scheduled for this Saturday, My father-in-law is flying in from Florida on Monday, I’m hosting Christmas with my family on Christmas Eve and my in-laws on Christmas day and so far I have…..Put up the Christmas tree.
This morning felt like the perfect time to panic and just for good measure I figured I should take it out on my kids. I snapped at them, I yelled at them, and I became all together frustrated that they did not see the urgency in my stopping everything to create lists. First I need a list of the lists I need.
*To Do List
*To Cook List
*Who’s Coming list
*Corbin’s party list
Now it was time to create my lists. My boys didn’t like this game and just as I was trying to figure out what food should be offered at Corbin’s party, he came over and squeezed his melon head in-between me and the counter where I was creating my list. He had sensed my morning panic and wanted reassurance that everything was fine. I seriously had a moment. Wow…I have really forgotten what Christmas is all about. I was not feeling Merry, or happy, in the least. I was feeling burdened, unprepared and stressed! The people I love most in the world are all getting together to exchange laughs and gifts and I was not one bit excited. I was agitated and annoyed by the tasks at hand. My whimpering Christmas angel, Corbin Gabriel, opened my eyes. I scooped him up and sat with him in our oversized blue chair where most of our snuggles are shared. He was just happy for the attention and with the biggest grin you can imagine he began speaking Corbinese and telling me tales I won’t soon forget.
Don’t get me wrong, as we grow older the Merry of Christmas, or any Celebration, is weighted down with responsibility and effort. I still have lists to cross off and much to do, but this Holiday season I refuse to trade my joy for stress. Give yourself the gift of peace this year, and remember what makes your Holiday special. For kids, it is so much simpler than we sometimes make it out. My boys just love the sparkling lights, helping to bake cookies, shopping trips gone badly, A TREE IN THE HOUSE, and all of the buzz and anticipation of excitement on the horizon. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be magical.
My New list:
*Be at Peace
*Enjoy the journey
*Keep it simple
God bless you all and Happy Holidays. It truly is the season to be jolly.