I love Christmas time.
It’s the absolute best time of the year, saturated with church, good food, and family; a few of my favorite things. I anxiously await December 1st, or “Christmas 1st” every year to play music and watch the movies. I grew up in a house where Christmas was done big-we spent three days straight at party after party, church service after service…and of course present after present.
And for some reason, every year, about December 28th, my parents crashed for two days until they threw their New Year’s Eve party(My parents are amazing at the holidays!). I never understood it; it wasn’t a tiring season mom, it was a FUN season.
That is…I didn’t understand until I was suddenly thrown in charge of four kids for the first Christmas with kids. Presents, church, live nativities, family dinners, our extra fun with biological family visits, and school functions taught me pretty quickly why this is the season my mama loves-but also spends on edge.
Now, I still love Christmas season…but there are a few things ornery little me could do without.
1. Kid made ornament ideas on Pinterest and Facebook. Maybe my kids are just not artsy, but when I see projects on Pinterest for pre schoolers, I want to make them with my kids. For some reason however, ours never come out as good as the pictures on their. Not even my practice one look as nice as the ones the mothers show of their three year olds art skills. I don’t trust it y’all. When Doodle(the Artsy one of us) is the only one who can make anything that resembles yours…I just am side eyeing you.
2. Decorating the house with tinies. One of my favorite other bloggers just posted about her house decorations and inside I died a little. I went to my Mema’s to drop my child off last night and saw a beautiful Christmas village. It was glass. I am so envious. We have a nice little tree and a few lights. Everything else is torn down or destroyed before the end of the year.
3. Buying presents for my 12 year old. I swear, when you have this many, there’s always one…right? For us it’s Doodle. When asked what she wanted for Christmas, she told us a bow and a lion. Then she wanted concert tickets to see Paul McCartney. (Does Paul even perform anymore guys?) Needless to say we are 17 days from Christmas and still scrambling to buy her some presents. Mom, I am sorry if I was that child.
4. Everyone feels the need to comment on how you do the holidays. We don’t do Santa in my house. My kids are aware it’s a story other kids learn, they know not to ruin it for their classmates, and if an adult asks them what they got from Santa, they simply say what we got them. We have a few reasons why we chose not to introduce Santa, the main being we were unsure how long foster care would be existing and what kids coming through would believe. We really wanted to make sure it was inclusive to any children we have. I promise, we are not trying to ruin what your Christmas is all about.
5. It’s not the jolliest time of the year for everyone-and that’s okay. The holiday season brings up a lot of hard memories, times, and grief for some of us. My father-in-law passed away right around Christmas just four years ago and that’s a heavy aspect on holidays with my in laws. My father still has a hard time with the fact his parents are not in our celebrations. Grief is a natural part of life and does not stop just because it’s the holidays-often times it is even deeper felt and more present in times of joy. At this time, I try to reach out to those I know still struggling with the loss of someone they love-and unlike my younger years, I feel it myself now. Be kind to yourselves if you’re struggling with grief this year.
6. I can no longer drink my way through family time. This is the second Christmas in the three years I have been able to legally have some wine that I cannot because pregnancy. Your families may not make hot chocolate with Bailey’s or offer wine throughout Christmas day…but mine do. And it’s very sad when you cannot partake in that joyous part of the merriness.
7. My kids don’t love the Christmas movies they should. I don’t want to watch the Polar Express for a seventh time or Santa Paws. I don’t want to see a movie with real animation or people or special effects. I am here for the claymation movies from before I was born. Yet my kids refuse and hate them. How can you hate A Year Without A Santa Claus? That’s just unacceptable kids.
8. And how come everyone else’s Christmas pictures look so cute and mine just don’t? I have cute kids. I say this not as a person who is vain or prideful. My kids are cute. It’s a fact. So WHY does everyone else manage to get adorable photos of their kids sitting in front of the trees or on the staircase waiting in pajamas or in the snow smiling? I get one in every thousand I take. There is some supernatural force working against me here.
All in all, I still love this season. I enjoy Christ’s birth and celebrating it. I love teaching my kids about the meaning of Christmas and encouraging them to give during this season- and all year round! But if you are also a mama who finds yourself sitting in the middle of unwrapped presents with the fourth roll of tape and the door barricaded so your kids do not come running in…I feel you. If you’re stuck looking through yet another gift idea post and crying because your kid still won’t enjoy any of that…I feel you. Have a few Grinch moments alone this year and remember, your holidays were never perfect and even if you think you make your kids perfect? They won’t be. And that’s okay. It’s not a season about perfection, even if we are celebrating the perfect one.